that draws us to luster, to golden plates
and fine glasses, mother’s irreplaceables––
something you won’t remember me by.
The candles’ shadows recede in time,
rendering us small again, but older...
Gripped by impatience, I untethered
mother’s flocks of gold-paper angels,
paced myself for ten-stop shopping walks.
I regret my puny complaints
in the evening blue, when I tramp
through festive streets to the park.
Behind a window, a man I used to know
sits bent over his desk––no curtains––
can silhouettes be desolate? Moss-green,
the oaks are reaching. The river still is the river.
At night, my teeth well up, shift position––
waking, I feel for the ridges and mountains
that have lifted from my bones...
Plasticity––the least of my worries?
Perhaps the man at his desk has it right,
and we’ll all be sound again come January.
The good China used to be grandmother’s, yes.
And what you will remember me by.
Leonore Hildebrandt has published poems in the Cafe Review, the Cimarron Review, Denver Quarterly, Drunken Boat, the Spoon River Poetry Review, and the Quercus Review, among other journals. Her translations of Rilke's Elegies have appeared in Cerise Press. Her letterpress chapbook, The Work at Hand, is available from Flat Bay Press. A first book of poems is forthcoming with Pecan Grove Press. Winner of the 2013 Gemini Poetry Contest, she received fellowships from the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Maine Community Foundation, and the Maine Arts Commission. She teaches writing at the University of Maine and serves as an editor for the Beloit Poetry Journal.