Miss Havisham, Miss Emily, Miss Elizabeth,
I call on naiads, on Sylvester, my cat,
on Henry, on Julio and the schoolyard rats.
If the soul has a special time, and knots
be bright, or square, or even hangman’s,
let it be known Mrs. Harris from the third grade
had quite the limp – she listed, water
to the rails, and might have sunk,
but she ploughed on, intent (all
of us horrified) on misbehaving child,
and shook him she did, emptying
his desk of books, then child of desk.
I see it still – my memories have wings.
Du Fu, too, sees, with horror, her ghost.
Julio twitches in her sleep, barks sotto voce.
Two New Zealanders walked into a bar.
Knocked them cold, speaks up Henry, far
and away my most minor apparition.