if the patch of four-leaf clovers
is still there, half hidden
in the grass, to bring luck
to this stranger’s house, which
after these fifty-six years
I’ve signed away?
One of the things I realize
I neglected to disclose, among
those other inadvertent omissions—
the ghosts going matter-of-factly
about their business,
a few clothespins on the line
a little pile of onionskin paper
beside the typewriter
the big Random House dictionary
open to “verve” or maybe “vervain”
while the one who looks something like me
empties a wickedly extravagant capful
of lemon verbena into a summer bath
beneath the window with the BB hole,
beguiled that June by Scarlett O’Hara’s mother.
She’ll find them just a little slow
to wash the broiler pan,
or clean the rings off the glass shelf
where perfumes congregate
and a forlorn button or two, and always
before church a clutch of irritable hair rollers
bristling over some imagined jab.
They’ll be no trouble mostly.
Only turning up the Met broadcast
on Saturdays a bit too loud,
exclaiming over smoked oysters
at cocktail time, or wandering the hall
in bathrobes, turning up or down the heat,
asking themselves uneasily,
pretending not to notice,
who she is,
who it was asked her here.