In my dream I heard a bird that sounded
            like a child calling, “Mom! Mom!” like she used
to do when I wasn’t paying attention. 
            No matter how often I rolled over,
I couldn’t awaken, unable to
            rouse myself from the bed that was my grave,
save myself from hearing her, knowing she
            would not be there when I awoke.  I don’t
care that today is Hemingway’s birthday,
            the sun rising over the water in the
real world, streaming through the window, washing
            over the magazines I flipped through all
night long, her father breathing beside me,
            always able to sleep through the worst.  Or
that Robert Frost outlived four of his six
            children, Mark Twain embittered by his old
enemy, Death.  I am still alive and
            have to bear the burden of memory
as if it weighed nothing, invisible
            yet more powerful than all, even love. 
What good is the day when you can’t come to
            life, when a seagull sounds like a crow, a
bird like a baby?  When all good things have
            ended, the house empty, the bank account
gone, youth replaced by wrinkles, friends afraid
            to come by, unable to be saddled
with grief not theirs.  To forgive is divine,
            someone said, a soul who understood but
is likely dead and cannot tell me how.