We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner



I don’t remember. I was twelve, not yet
aware of how a parent dies before
a child’s bewilderment. I lay beset
by fever, lost to life. I will not bore

you reconstructing how they called my name
and wept. They were perhaps more deeply stricken
than some, my father’s leadership a claim
on God’s beneficence. I’ve forgotten—

I don’t remember anger. What stays
with me is waking to voices about
my bed, one voice clear in the haze
of wonder, and Father’s joyous shout.

So long ago now! I live bound by that surprise,
and long to hear again that voice “Daughter, arise."



The entrancing animated feature Coraline, faithfully adapted by Henry Selick from Neil Gaiman’s marvelous children’s novel, is an Alice in Wonderland story. The feisty, sharp-witted Coraline (voiced by today’s busiest child actor, Dakota Fanning) finds an alternate world behind a locked door in her apartment building.

Reflections in a spoon

Hunger is a bowl of reflected light,
a concave mirror of flight,
an image reversed,
the breech birth
of an angel floating from Earth
feet first.

Easter week

Speaking of Houdini and escape,
of Spring, this Spring, there being
no General or Eternal Spring,

yesterday I saw a blue pickup
pull out from a stoplight with eight trees
swaying and gesturing, sentenced to a life

they never chose. We know the cruelty
of mathematics, the bottom line,
how it can cancel the exactitude of longing.

How bereavement can sound like
the plunking of a piano tuner through an open window,
notes trying to break free

but staked to the tonic scale like greyhounds
tethered to a doghouse
in the killing heat of summer.

As the truck accelerates, the wind
ruffles the trees’ feathers. They could be five year olds
in an Easter pageant, trying to slough off wings

and other baggage. They are that filled with
the Holy Ghost. Oh, the odd beauty of green!
Oh the rumor of another life!