Poem for the dead
I can hear the stream, the generator
shutting off, and the white dogs barking.
I can hear my footsteps on the dirt road shaded
from moonlight by the tended forest. I can hear fog
sliding over the hilltops and pooling, lit
from below like a glowing river, out of which
I can hear Orion rising. I can hear the chains
on the gate returning to their embrace
of the pole. I can hear Gus the dying cat mewling
in confusion when I approach. I can hear you,
arcane and violet as my own breath. It’s not
that I’ve forgotten. It’s that I never knew
who you were.
Renée Lepreau is a midwife and lactation consultant with her own practice (www.junemoonbirth.com) in Berkeley, CA. She is also pursuing a certificate in Creative Writing/Poetry from Berkeley City College.