After the Play

She imagines a passage

through the scrim diaphanous

shining, clinging to shoulder, back

as she slips into the stacks

of flats leaning against the

back wall, passing through them wet

paint and board opening onto the lake

water shimmering in light

neither sunrise or sunset

sounds of animals everywhere

her dog Lady, first kitten Boots suddenly

at her feet, and then Princess of the broken back

languidly rubbing her legs

herons lift off, ducks and geese rimming

cattails, glassy horsetails swaying

as a breeze lifts her hair from her face

while other faces materialize from clouds

that never blot the sun

her favorite aunt who embroidered

a gingham shirtwaist with giant navy

snowflakes swirling around the hem

great-grandmother who stood by

a soddy in that one curling sepia

grandmother of the tortoise shell ring

and braided straw hats with their single pheasant feather

a kitchen redolent with just baked hermits

so many they become a Greek Chorus multiplied

until she realizes she’s crossing over, her feet

feet skimming the surface as hands reach out

from those she’s talked with over the years

when she sat at the balky organ and wished

she was somewhere other than another funeral

legion of saints pictured in the maroon book she got

for Confirmation that she cherrypicked and

petitioned for singing coyotes, the odd herd of deer

recalls how the ancients described this after

life, so many across tribes and religions believing

there might be more so that she came to consider

that it might be possible and now this

her own after.