After the Rain

This morning the green leaves, no
longer spring green, darker
and summer like, take up the space
where the sky showed last week.

Rain falls on the roof while I write. Outside
the open door, rain and the rustle of
leaves. There is no noise from the
swaying of tree trunks. Unless
they snap or pull up their
shallow roots and topple screaming
to the ground.

Into A Book

My sister, my father and me. My bedroom window was upstairs on the left.

When I was about five,
I thought after death, you went
into the nearest book.

My mother must have been reading
to us from Little House in the Big Woods
because that’s the book I made sure
was nearby at night.
Just in case.


I would watch the milk man with his
horse and wagon go down the street
in the morning from my bedroom
window. I must have been two because
when my sister was born we moved, and
my bedroom was in the back of the house,
with no window on the street.

He left our milk in a gray tin box on
the back porch. That was in Springfield. Later,
when we moved to Detroit, we had
a milk chute on the side of the house.
It had a little door on the inside and a little door on the
outside so the milkman, who now drove a truck,
could put the milk in and we could get it
out on the other side. On cold winter
mornings, the frozen milk
rose up over the top of the brown bottle.
For years I saved milk caps in a kitchen
drawer. Just saved them, never did anything with them.

After the heroin epidemic came, everybody sealed up
those milk chutes so no skinny thieves could
climb in the house that way.