and still there are dolls on the upper stories,
geese hissing and flapping in the garden, the maid
showing up without word at seven,
grandfather’s Croix de Guerre unsold in a fleamarket
in Amiens, on a shelf a novel
with an endgame that strikes you as wholly
implausible. The survivors, scattered by history, meet
somehow in the final scene in a new version
of an old house, their words all previously uttered,
their eyes lightened by some unearned mirth.
Roger Atwood’s poems have appeared in Town Creek Poetry, The Gay and Lesbian Review, Potomac Review and Linden Lane Magazine. He is the author of a non-fiction book, Stealing History (St. Martin’s Press, 2004). His essays and articles are widely published, including in National Geographic, The Times Literary Supplement, The Massachusetts Review, Latin American Research Review and Mother Jones. He is a Contributing Editor at Archaeology magazine and teaches writing at the University of the District of Columbia in Washington, where he lives.