November hymnal (13)
No silence tonight. The light bulbs hum.
The washer in the basement sends
a thick pulse through the walls and floors.
Cats scratch carpet. Steam surges
up pipes to the radiators in the bedrooms.
When I turn everything off, grief is singing,
in the dark outside a house in my mind,
and though it’s in a foreign language,
each November I know a few more of the words.
In that song everything rhymes, leaves
pushed into a pile by the rain, my mother’s
favorite paintbrush, an old recipe typewritten
and amended with a blue Bic pen. No matter
what you try to throw in the song, it’s in perfect
harmony with grief. November night. A low
front off the coast. A bad painting of a mocking
bird by an artist we never knew. No silence.