Letter to Affliction

This entry is part 65 of 95 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2010-11


Dear ruefulness, dear regret, I’ve rounded
the bend and here you are again in the clearing,
each tree planted like a taper in a circle
of melted ground. How deep are your roots,
really? The sky’s chipped at the rim like an old
piece of crockery— its white band milky,
its saucer mismatched. Where’s the calico
napkin appliqued with cats? I’ve forgotten
if I’ve set the table for dinner or for tea.
Perhaps it’s not too late to take a long
vacation by the sea. A fleet of sandpipers
and gulls holds the rocks at siege. The water
asks over and over, What is the heart?
You know it makes a sound louder
than any internal combustion engine.
Here I am waiting for the skin of leaves
to split open; waiting for lightning
to marble in the marrow.

Luisa A. Igloria
02 17 2011

In response to today’s Morning Porch entry (and to another response-poem, by Dale Favier)

Series Navigation← Landscape, with Fake Butterflies and Sick ChildLetter to Levity →


One Reply to “Letter to Affliction”

    (After Letter to Affliction)

    I, an old man/ a dull head among windy spaces.
    — T. S. Eliot, Gerontion

    It’s noisy with the sound of trucks leaving
    the stripped quarry like some la femme du nuit
    looking spent in a small circle of melted sheets
    not unlike this barricade of trees fencing me in
    when I should be out among the cormorants
    molesting errant crayfish on the breakwater
    boulders, clamping them with the vise grip
    of beak before dumping them back into a
    cocktail of blackened pools and fetid algae,
    my vaunted daiquiri or limey brew on my
    long vacation by the sea.

    Now you write to ask if it was not too late
    to take this one? Porquoi pas?

    For hearts frozen with regrets and hollow
    memories, it is finally too late, mon amour,
    because this thaw among sandpipers and gulls
    is also the noise of quarry trucks cracking
    the hard-earned quietude that needs must come
    as an ebbtide when the crushing gulfstream
    has cut the sandbars and left the stripped
    quarry to cover sand holes rending flaccid
    haunches and dying loins. It is too late.

    Mississauga, Ont. 02-17-11

    P.S. Until “the skin of leaves split open; waiting for lightning” to strike and make me an honest man.

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