The Invisible

The Invisible


Roads diminish and clarify. People disappear.
The skunk is just being himself on the edge of the dark sidewalk.

On a certain night even he can see the dog-star.
Not shaking off the weather. All last summer the stooped old lady

laid her traps and could not flush him out of hiding. All summer
I spent mornings freeing trapped squirrels and possums

before the noon sun dehydrated them. She never came out
to see and neither did the skunk in her crawlspace. Now, crossing

the road, he looks up to the house as if remembering
or as if seeing through walls and latticework: here’s a place

I could make a home beneath. Here is a place I can depart
and come back to. A place I can impart the secret:

How to disappear but never leave. How to settle in
when all you will do at this age is preparation for leaving.

I would kneel with you any hour and pray to find that place.
If we wait long enough the wind will move the invisible aside.

5 thoughts on “The Invisible

  1. pi314chron

    Jeff, I would have given you a double LIKE if I could! (“weater” in line four — a typo?)

    All the goodness of this poem is neatly funneled into the last two lines, which really pack a punch! Well done, my friend!


    1. Jeff Schwaner Post author

      I guessed that you might show up here this morning, Ann—and I am very happy that you did. With your talk on your blog of visiting one of your favorite eating places in MA, I wonder if you have ever been to Steve’s Diner in Belmont? It was a bfast haunt of mine in my grad school days at BU. Coffee in glass mugs. Giant french toast. I have no idea why I am asking this, by the way. Steve’s just popped into my head, and you’re always taking photos of the places you go.

      1. Ann Koplow

        I have never been to Steve’s Diner in Belmont, Jeff, and I don’t think it exists anymore. Do you remember the address or any nearby landmarks? I am very happy that Belmont was one of your haunts!

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