April 13, 2013

Letters to Minnehaha Creek: XXII by Victoria Peterson-Hilleque

It’s not your force or speed
that keeps me returning.

It’s the way you separate
and drip, foam and evaporate.

The way you operate as one
thing when you are many things.

Connected without clinging.
When those awful hands

reached in my water to carry
Dorothy away, I moaned myself hoarse.

But this world
continues as if nothing

is missing. Ashy remains
in the ground. Spirits released.

Perhaps gathered.
Perhaps scattered. 

Years after her death her family
buried her at St. Marks Cemetery

where she and I often sat
to rest. Today I talk to her tombstone

for two hours. The sky grays.
Thunder threatens, but I keep talking.

Steal some lilies from the plant
by the Simone tomb to tuck

in the bouquet by her name.
Perhaps the dead gather in the dew

on spring mornings, hang
from petals of Bleeding hearts.

Victoria Peterson-Hilleque’s poems appeared in Summit Avenue Review and Priscilla Papers. Her book How to Analyze the Works of Sylvia Plath and other titles were published by ABDO Publishing Company. She is a co-host on Doug Pagitt Radio. Read herWrite On blog and listen to the show at www.dougpagittradio.com

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