posthumous

Posthumous

Would it surprise you to learn
that years beyond your longest winter
you still get letters from your bank, your old
philanthropies, cold flakes drifting
through the mail-slot with your name?
Though it’s been a long time since your face
interrupted the light in my door-frame,
and the last tremblings of your voice
have drained from my telephone wire,
from the lists of the likely, your name
is not missing. It circles in the shadow-world
of the machines, a wind-blown ghost. For generosity
will be exalted, and good credit
outlasts death. Caribbean cruises, recipes,
low-interest loans. For you who asked
so much of life, who lived acutely
even in duress, the brimming world
awaits your signature. Cancer and heart disease
are still counting on you for a cure.
B’nai Brith numbers you among the blessed.
They miss you. They want you back.

by Jean Nordhaus, from Innocence. © Ohio State University Press, 2006

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One Response to posthumous

  1. Scott says:

    Funny that this should come up now. Just had a phone conversation with a magazine rep who told me that the reason they kept sending magazines to an address Shannon never lived at was because she had subscribed for 6 (!) years. Good news, though…I get a small refund.

    The poem is a keeper!

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