This entry is part 51 of 55 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Spring 2012


You never know what kind of light will do that to you—
break your heart, seize you with inexplicable longing:

you walk into the empty kitchen where all the dishes lie, stacked
on the drain board, dry; where one chipped cup spells longing.

The light is newly rinsed, newly risen, or just fading, but
it doesn’t matter: every hour hides a secret longing.

The colors of fruit are warm and full of life: citrus yellow, apple
green, cherry red. The blue-veined bowl opens its mouth in longing.

Who was it that was supposed to come today? No shadow crossed the walk,
or rang the bell; no face peered in the window to meet you and your longing.

You sit writing lists, checking papers, figuring costs—
By the door, lavender in a pot sends up tiny spears of longing.

At night when everyone has gone into their rooms, the ceilings
hush, the shutters turn, as though against a long-held longing.

What’s on the other side of so much longing? Surely the bird
that lined the nest has found some arbor devoid of longing.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← PleaseLandscape, with Summer Bonfires →

One Reply to “Arbor”


    But there is silence now at the phoebe’s nest–-/ the fledglings have flown–-Icarus-like must test/ their wings against the sinews of a summer wind. / Is this uncertain quiet also an augury of mourning? —From “Gone: A Weaning Song”, A. B. Casuga, 06-10-12

    Is this uncertain quiet also an augury of mourning?
    It is a cool, bright, and clear but silent morning,

    what should move have not, even the gentle breeze
    ruffling foliage rampant now on the crowns of trees

    seemed to have gone still like the stale pool of mud
    that must have caked in the warm night and seized

    around the trunk clinging, child-like, on Mother’s
    knee wailing: Don’t go! Don’t leave me! Please stay?

    But she could not; she has waited for this clear day
    to take a trip she must have wished for among others,

    all dreams gone stale then, but she must go and meet
    Father somehow where he has waited along a street

    Where they were to see each other again on a cool day,
    Eager to wrap each other in arms that pleaded: Stay!

    —Albert B. Casuga

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