My Father Returns as a Luna Moth

Mark Jarman

My father returns as a luna moth,
a green hand under the porch light.
He comes back as a tree frog on the kitchen window,
blown there by the storm overnight.My father returns as a red wasp
and the venom she sticks in my knee.
He sleeps in a paper capsule
of the nest under the eave.And back he comes as a file of old letters,
angry, commonplace, merry and grim,
airmail flimsy, stationery stiff,
from him to me, me to him.He returns as hymn tunes and cuff links,
a diamond pinky ring that won’t fit.
He looks out as the passage from Micah engraved
on his columbarium niche.“Do justice. Love kindness. Walk humbly.”
He’s there in a kiss with sealed lips.
He’s reborn as the o-gape of his last breath,
in the solar eclipse.One day his signs and wonders
may no longer make me think twice.
Will he ever stop returning?
Not in my life.

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Mark Jarman’s latest collection of poetry is The Heronry (Sarabande Books, 2017). He is Centennial Professor of English at Vanderbilt University.

The Hudson Review

Autumn 2018

New York, New York

Editor: Paula Deitz
Founding Editor: Frederick Morgan (1922-2004)
Managing Editor: Ronald Koury
Associate Editor: Zachary Wood

==Founded in 1948, The Hudson Review is a quarterly magazine of literature and the arts published in New York City. Frederick Morgan, one of its founding editors, edited the magazine for its first fifty years. Paula Deitz has been the editor since

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