Always with warmth and grace, Florenz guided my work from manuscript to print to delivery.
I was sorry I never met her, never had a chance to say hello–or good-bye.
-Wanda S. Praisner
Overcast October First
from Where the Dead Are
A friend called from the UK,
wished me Happy Rabbit’s Day, luck
for the first of the month, a family custom.
Here too it’s fog, no luck finding
the Great Blue Heron, actually gray, absent
since leaves began to fall. Like time,
when you look for it, it’s never there–
September and all its losses gone–
I cut short my son’s last call to watch TV,
told my mother in the hospital
I’d visit in the evening–
the silence now of words never spoken.
My friend ended the call
with Happy White Rabbit’s Day,
what his granddaughter wished him earlier,
but I’m still with gray: the rabbit’s foot
my grandfather gave me after butchering one
for supper, I not knowing what luck was,
still don’t. But I know gray: squirrels
crossing the meadow, nuts carried
in mouths for burial; a rabbit foot matted
in blood; the heron spending time elsewhere,
gone without a goodbye—
no well-wishes, not even See you later.