Rachel Hadas

Call me the bee buzzing in the museum.
The younger sister fussing through a house
still stiff with loss.
The meddling goblin in the mausoleum.

My dream: with three in the front seat, we drive
under a bridge—and halt. A huge gray bus
blocks the whole road, including us,
the only travelers who are left alive.

It’s drizzing; the windshield wiper blades
busily gesture, yet we’re nearly blind.
You two seem not to mind
blank windows, pulled-down shades.

I mind. I want to get out and explore,
to move around
the deathly obstacle. “Don’t make a sound,”
you say. (Who are you?) “Don’t go near that door.”

Our mountain drive last month—that wasn’t dreamed.
We three again. We ran a dog down. I
alone looked back, alone let out a cry.
I saw it lying in its blood and screamed.

So tell me what these images portend.
Am I a noisy bird of evil omen
or just a person, apprehensive, human,
moving ahead, kid sister into woman,
stonewalled by death each time she rounds a bend?

Rachel Hadas is an American poet, essayist, and current Board of Governors Professor of English at Rutgers University—Newark.
Originally published:
November 1, 1990


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