Some years thought ticks in the soul,
darts and flashes in the brain
like cuckoos from a hole
and seems to have a time
all its own as if the shofar
of remorse could blast at 2 a.m.
Tier on tier, recall builds a tower,
whose bells sound a fugue,
whose high rooms house a shooter
picking off the time of flood
that washed away the family dog,
and laid the cattle out in mud,
the night of plague, the drugs
that made everything easy.
Who could know? Tack and shrug.
Whirr and spurtle in a ghurry,
the mists of dawn a shawl,
every play of light a perfidy.
Zara Raab’s books are Fracas & Asylum, Swimming the Eel, Rumpelstiltskin, or What’s in a Name? and The Book of Gretel, narrative poems of Northern California where she grew up. Her work, including reviews and essays, as well as poems, has appeared in Mezzo Cammin, Verse Daily, River Styx,Crab Orchard Review, Raven Chronicles, and The Dark Horse. She lives in western Massachusetts.