Horses were turned loose in the child's sorrow. Black and roan, cantering through snow.
The way light fills the hand with light, November with graves, infancy with white.
White. Given lilacs, lilacs disappear. Then low voices rising in walls.
The way they withdrew from the child's body and spoke as if it were not there.
What ghost comes to the bedside whispering You?
-- With its no one without its I --
A dwarf ghost? A closet of empty clothes?
Ours was a ghost who stole household goods. Nothing anyone would miss.
Supper plates. Apples. Barbed wire behind the house.
At the end of the hall, it sleepwalks into a mirror wearing mother's robe.
A bedsheet lifts from the bed and hovers. Face with no face. Come here.
The bookcase knows, and also the darkness of books. Long passages into,
Endless histories toward, sleeping pages about. Why else toss gloves into a grave?
A language that once sent ravens through firs. The open world from which it came.
Words holding the scent of an asylum fifty years. It is fifty years, then.
The child hears from within: Come here and know, below
And unbeknownst to us, what these fields had been.
Carolyn Forché's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Sequestered Writing by Carolyn Forché )
- Futurism Today, Peter Jay Shippy
- Soul, Peter Jay Shippy
- Shadow of Death, Tosin Abegunde
- Graceful ghost rag, Peter Jay Shippy
- The State-Progress Of Ill, Lord Edward Herbert of Cherb ..
- On the perilous effects of buried alien .., Peter Jay Shippy
- To Heal a Weakling Child, Peter Jay Shippy
- Reading Rilke's Sonnets to Children, Peter Jay Shippy
- Sonnet on the Author's Birthday, Robert Burns
- Promises, Ahmed Tawfik
Poem of the Day
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
- Heather Burns
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(20 October 1854 – 10 November 1891)
(13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990)