Triin Paja

Freeing Ghosts

the clouds are the hands of a seamstress
pricked with needles. it means rain.

rain gentles me
held as I am by the wilderness of feeling

seldom encountered in adulthood
except in a certain field

where a dew-silvered fox
coils into sleep

and I turn back, bewildered,
alive in the rain that is a song about the rain

thinking about my mother.

she has not sung
for years

but when the ghost of a toothache left her
the absence of pain in her mouth

became a kind of song.

reader, there are so many ghosts.
it is hard to praise the earth.

the rain cups my face in its hands.
I am singing about my mother.

Triin Paja is the author of three collections of poetry in Estonian and a recipient of the Betti Alver Literary Award, the Juhan Liiv Poetry Prize, and the Värske Rõhk Poetry Award. Her English poetry has received a Pushcart Prize and has appeared or is appearing in Black Warrior Review, TriQuarterly, The Cincinnati Review, Prairie Schooner, Rattle, and elsewhere.