November hymnal (8) / for Doris
Here in the dead center of autumn
Comes the voice on the phone.
I am outside of the house, outside
My father’s Explorer, on the side
Of a hilly street I call home. I was
Looking at the library across the lawn
Across the street when I heard the words
She was dead. Just then, as I stood
Inside nothing. And the past was past
Me, like a car on its way to the library
Traveling too fast on a neighborhood
Street past a standing man, nothing
More than a pellet of the present, on
a bleak night’s road beneath which the miles
Spin and the signs have gone dark.