Three Poems by Deirdre Fagan

Knowledge

Mostly we are unaware
of ourselves

We fumble familiarly
our minds navigating their spaces
our bodies rounding corners
absently avoiding debris

Upon extending an arm
at the right height
of a doorknob
while staring ahead
without blinking

we enter our bedrooms
where we are suddenly surprised
by the faint recognition
of our own
scents


All the previous deaths were un-posted;
word came by ring tone or Post, not post

The first death by email was Linda’s,
the stunned silence of a monitor, your face.

You raced down the hall and leapt,
shrieking to your then-well husband, “Linda is dead!”

You have since committed the crime of alerting,
signaling death’s sentinel by a mouse-click of Send.

When your husband died, you kept him home one more night,
the urgency of a funeral home, a coroner, not your own.

You slept on the futon beside the hospital bed in the then bedroom,
once dining room, where you had at one time only celebrated.

The next morning he no longer resembled the man you had wed.

When the gurney took your Love out the door, you sat before the monitor,
stunned, and alerted all you knew through the only words you had left.


Outside In

Sometimes I look inside my house and wonder who lives there —

Paintings on the walls, books lining the shelves, a dimly lit chandelier hovering above a single lit candle on the dining room table

Once I pulled into the drive and there was a boy leaning forward to light the candle, a girl setting the table, a man at the sink — a painting exhibiting chiaroscuro

No one else peering in would know this father had just entered the scene, that the girl has nightmares, that the boy has nestled and locked a hidden place that recalls his father’s deathbed breaths

What brush strokes captured the scene best, or at all, and what would be revealed should the frame change, should some of the paint be scraped away to reveal the original strokes, and more simply, how the mother about to arrive down center would present?

That evening observing the peaceful scene, the cold outside holding me in place, the warmth inside beckoning, the dog nudged me just as I was entering the stage of hopeful dreaming

 

Deirdre Fagan is a widow, wife, and mother of two who has published poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.  Most recently, her work has appeared in Amaryllis, Every Day Fiction, New Verse News, Rat’s Ass Review, and The Opiate.  She is also the author to Critical Companion to Robert Frost and has published a number of critical essays. Fagan teaches literature and writing at Ferris State University in the USA where she is also the Coordinator of Creative Writing.  Meet her at deirdrefagan.com

4 thoughts on “Three Poems by Deirdre Fagan

  1. These poems…they hurt in hidden places…these lines, especially: “When the gurney took your Love out the door, you sat before the monitor, stunned, and alerted all you knew through the only words you had left” and “Sometimes I look inside my house and wonder who lives there,” and “Once I pulled into the drive and there was a boy leaning forward to light the candle, a girl setting the table, a man at the sink.” Thank you for publishing these!

    Liked by 2 people

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