On top of the green transformer box by the bus stop
someone has set an infant's shoe. Lost,
one imagines, and put there so it might be seen.
It is of the leather slipper kind, white
with an applique of cherries. And this
is memory. Or so I think when I see it.
It feels like something one might remember:
lifted, lighted, singular. And then I turn the corner
and the whole street is thick with Japanese lilac,
freshly bloomed as they were the day
my sister died. This is that day. I had forgotten
the reason for the greyness of my body
though my body still turned grey.
There is no guessing what will be spared
or struck in memory. There is chance
even in archeology. Here, the ditch-digger
turns up bottles. Over there,
a nest of bones.
Published in Grain Magazine, Summer 2015
Some of my poems are fictional but this isn't. My only sister Wendy, a painter, died on July 8, 2005. I was six months pregnant.