portion of the artwork for Matthew Harrison's poetry

Now Open Shades
Matthew Harrison

Who sits in the ruined window?
Did you believe in ghosts? Do you

now? On the window Sunday,
in the window the sun

made faces on the glass. No,
I don’t believe in spirits

either. Don’t think so
anyhow. You used to sit

in the window winters
for more sunlight,

never summers. Upper rooms
got so hot. No longer now.

One Sunday you were gone
for long after I’d hidden

in the big oak because I knew
you never looked up.

I refused to go to church.
Pews hurt and God is forever

mean to the chosen. When
you gave up finding me

the sun split open clouds
bright as ice-cream

headaches. I had no idea
you’d be leaving soon

for good. I should have
dropped loose change

into the basket passed around
and made sure too to make

beds, wash each dirty glass.
Was it you in the room Sunday

waving See you soon, see you
in a brief lifetime?
Was it you

who ruined the window?
I never go upstairs.

No tree can tempt me
to climb away from hours

now, so maybe now
I believe. Windows

will droop with age,
warp our views inside

and out. This is why
lightning

bugs flare up
like devil eyes

in the unshaded panes
of your bedroom

and you still flicker
in limbo there waiting

for a hidden son.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 41 | Summer 2013