Early March, the town still given up to white.
In all these houses float the ghosts
of failures, relentless and unconscionable,
holding even the children’s hands in sleep.

I walk out past the streetlights to the simple,
beaten body of my mother’s house.
When I was young, I learned to hate this dusk
that lingers on the tree line like the smell of alcohol.

I’d taped a strike zone up against the bricks
and aimed at the four corners, waiting out
the darkness stirring in the trees,
climbing the hill and grasping at the streets,

slinking up walls and windowsills
into the hard and silent room where I would sleep,
and where my mother knelt beside my bed,
her prayers falling like snow on stones.

JOHN LUNDBERG’s poetry has appeared in Poetry, VQR, New England Review, The Threepenny Review, The Southern Review and other journals. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.