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Metaphysical Speculation

Now that as many of my friends, perhaps,
are dead as are alive, I ask,
this stormy night of autumn when the clocks go back,
not that — as so I fondly wished when young —
they might be resurrected in some other place of greeting,
but that their faces and the habits of their speech
might lodge in me while I survive,
despite the lengthening of distance in their flight
from this unstable keeper,
looking upward, outward, sorrowful
and grateful that solidity still binds him to the earth.

Framed in the window, branches writhe yet roots withstand,
and foolishly I ponder whether souls of those I’ve loved,
though shifting at the speed of light,
in space-time pray that earthly memory,
whose usual service is to dull our pain of loss,
may also act to spare them from a second death.