Consolations

by Allan Peterson


We can tell them it will be all right,
but often it’s not, maybe just okay, and that sparingly,
and might fail any minute since life is a long death
you can feel good about at times,
sensing continuum out of fading examples, another spring
of minutes, daisy in your hand, your hand itself,
forest for the trees, sleeping late like starting over
or in hopeless cases just there, there.
What kind of comfort is that? Who really falls for it
even with stroking, the code for nothing we can do,
calm down, die quietly, helpless is so hard on the rest of us?

And then for our own sake we say she’s still with us,
he’s here now,
the lost, wilted rose in a bowl, a phantom limb.
And we will say things like they are watching us now,
the house has wings,
things somehow a comfort to us.