For When Nothing Is Remembered
On the eighth day we looked on and realized
it wasn’t good anymore. Where did they go,
the shared rituals? We buy greeting cards
that could be sent to anyone, nineteenth
century fixtures shine without a lamplighter
and the city spent millions wiring
Coffee in a paper cup, a painted wood duck,
little darlings on the back stairs fed
morning and night–no one born yesterday
will ever see contraptions that we use to
communicate. What of the game under
the tree root left behind the hill?
And leave the affirmations by the wayside.
Inveigling all the separate types who
might begin to dance is no path of light.
Your hygienist can look for other work.
You might as well slink off to your room
without lipstick or a gold dress, seeds
in your hair.
Mary Gilliland is an internationally published poet and recipient of numerous awards including Stanley Kunitz Fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Cornell University Council for the Arts Faculty Grant, BBC Wildlife Magazine Poet of the year Award for Nature Poetry, featured poet at the Al Jazeera International Film Festival, and recent residency at MASS MoCA.