Mornings I wake to one place, and at dusk

another. There are many kinds
of sleep. As a child I believed

sleeping with one’s eyes
open was the world

according to John. I called

a ghost, who.
A scarecrow, that.

I wake standing at the window

telling you I don’t see
the fire in the street. I wake
standing in red light

as emergency workers carve a woman
out of steel
horseshoed around the sugar

maple. Sometimes I half
expect to peel a clementine

& find nothing inside.

My mother calls to say
my grandmother just walked down
the hall. My grandmother,
dead for years. I do not know

whether to trust my mother

or the ghost’s side of the story.
All prophets perform
the miracle

of context. As does light.
As do birds in the morning.

-Emilia Phillips, West Branch Wired

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