IMPROV ON FOUR LINES OF FROST
It would take me forever to recite
all that’s not new in where we find ourselves,
to live once more on family’s old home place
now that my mother, your great-granny’s gone.
The house is mine, as eldest, to maintain,
and ours, my grandson, since you’re mine to rear.
Let’s walk around the grounds where I once played:
the chinaberry here, persimmon there.
Mulberry leaves outside my bedroom swayed
in wind, threw ghostly shadows on the wall.
That yard, which neighbors keep immaculate,
grew our potatoes, limas, purple hulls.
When I was six like you, this grassy patch
played host to jimpsonweed and cockle burr.
Back there, the woods, which some years Grandpa set
on fire by accident, sit tamed in streets
like suburbs. Muscadines, blackberry vines,
plum thickets, black-eyed Susans—all are gone.
I’m going to put you in your bed, if first
I have to make you build it. Come, the light.
c 2017, Pat Laster dba as lovepat press
Lucidity Poetry Journal II, 2012
Grist (MSPS Anthology), 2013
Hiding Myself into Safety: Short Stories & Long Poems, 2016