Laura Kasischke

View from glass door

I have stood here before.
Just this morning
I reached into the dark of the dishwasher
and stabbed my hand with a kitchen knife.

Bright splash of blood on the kitchen
floor. Astonishing
red. (All
that brightness inside me?)

My son, the Boy Scout, ran
to get the First Aid kit—while, beyond
the glass door, the orchard. Beyond

the orchard, the garden bed, and

beyond the garden, all
the simple people I remember
simply standing in their lines.
Or sitting in their chairs
waiting for the film to start
or for the plane to land
or for the physician to call them in.

How easy it would have been instead
to stand up shouting
about cold, dumb death.

But there they waited
as if the credits
might begin to roll again.
As if the bandages, the bolts, the scrolls. The paper
towels, the toilet paper. And

as the family stood around
considering my hand, I could clearly hear

the great silenced choirs of them
singing soothing songs:

Who fended for
and fed me. Who
lay beside me in the dark and
stroked my head. Who

called me their sweetheart, their
miracle child. Who
taught me to love
by loving me. Who, by dying, taught
me to die.

Covered in earth.
Covered in earth.
On the other side
of this glass door.
Calm, memorized
faces to the sky.