Despedida de Soltera

This entry is part 21 of 95 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2010-11


Three of my four music teachers were nuns. And the neighborhood referred to my very first piano teacher as the spinster— she wore dark clothing, sensible shoes, agua de colonia flor de naranja. She lived alone, with only part-time help; she never told anyone where she went in summer: “Soltera”. But I’ve always preferred this nod to solitude, to single-tude; the way impudent “l” pushes away from gossipy “o” and fakely coy “e” to bump up against “t” as if to say— So what? Years later, I’m still amazed at how much they knew: the libraries of trills and crescendos hidden underneath wimples and lace shawls; the ways they coaxed feeling from generations of wooden pupils surreptitiously kicking their legs into the piano’s soundboard. Listen to the advance of notes in this passage, they’d say: surf shirring the sand, or horses’ hooves soon coming around the bend. And then the clearing drenched in the scent of violets, which moves you inexplicably to tears. From my bedroom window, the chair backs in the garden are scrolled like treble clefs. It’s still mostly dark when the first faint pink spot appears in the clouds. I lie within that brief interval of solitude just before the day advances, slow and red. A raven croaks.

Luisa A. Igloria

In response to today’s Morning Porch entry.

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