Hairpins

Hairpins

The downpour comes to our house.
All our rooms are ablaze with that inevitable
inconsolable darkness before it ceases

in every room of the house, every part of the woods,
the screened in porch and white-wood corridor
leading to the window and the whippoorwill

that will turn itself to dust with its song
night after night, cooped up in the willow;
fences and barns and ponds that recede in the rain

but are really constants in my life, come in close,
the pewter magnifying glass on the dresser
magnifying each hour.

My grandmother piles her hair loosely with hairpins.
The hairpins won’t hold, never, in that heavy grey.
I push them back for her, her forgetfulness,

and the long summer is almost over
in those few lazy drops that still
drip from the trees and eaves in a lasting vigil.

from Coastal (Enitharmon, 2006), ? Jane Duran 2002, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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