Sometimes when I dream
of the old house, it has been
renovated, refitted–
the ceiling is removed
revealing the roof’s underside,
a wooden crucifix adorned
with leather & feathers
hangs at one peaked end

Or I’ve bought it back,
the old house and land,
and started renovations


We left with the wallpaper
half torn off, rough gray
streaks in the living room

The wide floorboards
dipped low at one end
The house is an antique
The living room, dark
and brooding like my father
So many ghosts


I practice piano beneath
a painting of fishermen
in rough waters

You can’t believe how big
the Pacific Ocean is, my father says,
huge, when asked about the war

He’d look away, eyes the same
color as that vast expanse
of blue and gray

I sing Songs my Mother Taught Me
and folksongs, Rogers & Hammerstein,

The overhanging beams seem to
close in on me and the sky
is stormy

The fisherman pulls up the net,
his boy hunched aft,
silver herring the only light