Behind Lids of Half-Closed Eyes

By Terry Martin

My dead keep showing up
wearing clip-on earrings,
doing crosswords in ink,
offering striped peppermints
from a cut-glass dish.

They smell of Jergens and Polident,
read Popular Mechanics and TV Guide,
laugh at the jokes on Hee Haw
‘til tears pour down their cheeks.

One of them is building
a crystal radio in the basement.
Another whistles “It’s Such a Pretty World Today.”
That one has become the watercolorist
she always wanted to be.

Each greets a faithful but fainter
version of my former self,
time thinning between dream and day.