“What She Knows”
She finds no list of names to comfort her.
Do not nudge her shoulder and ask
What bird is perching on the branch.
Do not inquire where the oleander blooms.
Nor does she recognize the kinds of clouds.
Of stone or shells. Nature is not her kinsman.
She dreams he appears on latticed porches,
On terra-cotta roofs of slanting houses.
He is speaking, although he was mute,
Walking although he was lame,
Flushed and ruddy, although he is dead.
She is certain of nothing except this.
And that her father alters,
A madman who bloats in the dark.
She is able to play the piano not at all.
There is the oak and the common tree,
The rose and the common flower,
The crow and the common bird,
Venus in the sky and all the other stars.