Happy birthday, you bowl of dust, you handful of ash, you you-not-you, you figment of memory, you piece of my own history I continue to address. You clicked off like a beautiful, rattling lightswitch, your cornflower eyes open. I didn’t want you to be scared. I wasn’t as I called out over my weeping sister, my keening mother, You’re a good man, as if to let you know your work is done, you’re free to leave, as if I had anything to do with it.
Ann Hudson is the author of The Armillary Sphere (Ohio University Press) and a forthcoming chapbook Glow (Next Page Press). A senior editor for RHINO, she teaches at a Montessori school in Evanston, Illinois.