Birthday Letters

Birthday Letter Home

“We were comforted
by wolves…”
—Ted Hughes, “Life After
Death,” Birthday Letters

What can I tell you—about death
That you don’t know—already
My eyes turning into—wet jewels

Disembodied hands—reaching
Out to me—my boyhood darkness
Feeling betrayed—not knowing why

My sister slowly—growing & growing
Bleeding to death—an invisible wound
She couldn’t see or touch or know

The Hanged Man—so full of pain
His noose tight—around my neck
His trapdoor dangling—every night

How comforting—the howling wolves
The cold moon—passing overhead
Alaskan sky—Northern Lights above

When the wolves—mourn nightly
They’re wailing—for me and my
Dead mother—deep in the forest

Falling snow—Aurora Borealis
I sink deeply—into folk-tale time
Sylvia—crying in the forest night

How many nights—rehearsing
Wet jewels—flowing down from her
Slavic Asiatic—hooded eyes

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