Roger Pfingston


We keep getting emails from Carole,
our neighbor who died two years ago.
A friend of nearly fifty years, she
was the first at our door to welcome us
to the neighborhood, but we have yet
to open and read what she could
possibly have to say that we would
understand from our quotidian slant,
thinking it’s best to leave well enough alone,
whatever that might be for her.


It’s spring now on Stoutes Creek Road,
the time of year she felt most alive
with God, gardens, garage sales.
The emails keep coming and just
as quickly—forgive us, Carole—
we send them to the trash, perhaps
a compost of sorts for the other side
where she moves among the eternal
flora and fauna of her faith. Who knows
anything for sure these days, and how far back,
millennially speaking, has that been said?


Even so, it’s disconcerting, these emails,
a violation of our cyberspace,
our heaven and hell on Earth. But if,
somehow, it’s Carole, we hope she
remembers what it was like body-bound,
the serendipity of our lives,
knocking on our door all those years ago.

Roger Pfingston has poems in recent issues of The American Journal of Poetry, I-70 Review, Innisfree Poetry Journal, South 85 Journal, and Sheila-Na-Gig. New poems will appear this year in Salt and Midwest Review. The recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, his latest chapbook, What’s Given, is available from Kattywompus Press.

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