I walk into the room where he sat
and read his Westerns, his newspapers--
painted horsemen on the walls, the antlers
and ox shoes hung above the doors.
Two years have passed since he died
and, still, so much suggests he's here.
I sit in his chair to keep the room
from flying away, the house tied
to all I've felt about this world.
He has become the past he loved:
the Russell wranglers roping grizzlies,
the shoes that knock the night-time stalls,
a cowboy life arranged in snapshots.
I refused to see his dead face
and now it looks at me through most
dark windows. So I've come home, in his place,
to sit in his recliner and think.
A swallow outside the window builds
a mud nest, a spider spins
its dinner plate the light just gilds.
How innocent these ironies--
the swelling spring, the blossom-smells,
the way the swallows shine and preen
on electric wires, their sexual chatter,
a green Stetson hanging on a horn,
the telephone message saying "We
can't come to the phone right now,"
a nose-bleed blood-drop on the floor--
how quick their needle to the quick.
In this house full of relics to
the ordinary, something is turning,
the way a doorknob turns, then clicks.