Eileen searches pasta packages for bird's nests;
the banister for bowling balls.
When she makes spaghetti for her absent son,
there is a great flapping and avian concern--rightly so--
about the eggs in the colander.
On the way to the guest room, strange ghosts who arrived by train
are sent to the sides of the staircase by a perfect hook.
Eileen apologizes, though they are incorporeal
and therefore unhurt.
She feels responsible, does our Eileen,
for perished sparrows and
Eileen descends to 20,000 fathoms
for some solitude and quiet,
but at her feet she finds little lobsters with rubber bands around their claws.
They are intended for Neptune's dinner,
and cannot deliver the mail.
Where is Eileen's son?
Is he happy on a beach somewhere, with a girl Eileen hasn't even met?
She joins a bowling league, but they don't bowl--
they rescue birds from tornados, and in doing so find purpose
and a comforting sense that when they are ghosts
wind won't matter anymore.
Neptune dissolves at last, perhaps allowing Eileen to believe again in something--
maybe lobsters signing the Gettysburg Address for the hearing impaired
under a blue sky
where being alone is common
and doesn't make her feel ashamed, and like dying.
For "the crack in everything", part of Play It Again Toads.