This Particular Heaven

By Lisa Vihos

In this particular heaven,

there are no numbers

to count the days

and no day’s end, just dusk,

when mothers call names

and fireflies lead the charge home.


In this particular heaven

there are bins of root vegetables,

of cinnamon sticks; there is strolling

along a boardwalk and then, sitting

with croissants and coffee

in a yellow café in southern France.


Right now, in this particular heaven,

we tremble at the thought of death

because it comes in all disguises:

a train, a clearing of leaves,

old age, a mysterious disease.

You are here, then, gone.


In this particular heaven,

there is no dark or drink

that can drown these sorrows.

In fact, there is no sorrow.

Only a forgetting of what is

the loss of innocence.


At last, in this frail, final heaven,

there is sky-blue lake and lake-blue sky.

And later, when the moon rises

russet on the horizon, it bobs

like a glad party boat,

calling us to come aboard.


The poems of Lisa Vihos have appeared in Big MuddyThe Camel SaloonRed FezRed Cedar, Seems, Verse Wisconsin, Wisconsin People and Ideas, and Your Daily Poem. She has two Pushcart nominations and two chapbooks, A Brief History of Mail (Pebblebrook Press, 2011) and The Accidental Present (Finishing Line Press, 2012). She is the poetry and arts editor for Stoneboat literary journal and an occasional guest blogger for The Best American Poetry digital. 

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