Speak to Me

With your enigmatic smile

you were my Giaconda,

pouring out your sympathy like wine,

keeping your feelings bottled up inside

like aged liqueur.


You greeted our son’s death

with stoic silence,

numbing your grief with cigarettes

and concealing the butts in tuna cans,

Cancer creased your lovely face

like brittle leather,

they shaved your head and stitched you  up

like a rag doll

and all you had to say was,

“It always could be worse.”


Your feelings were shrouded

like the drenched Hawaiian landscape

on the last big trip we took together

the sunsets reduced to a blurry haze,

the tops of the mountains cut off,

but still oh so beautiful.


Look at these photographs.

Do you remember how

the whales breached  in the blue beyond,

the white bellies of the mantas

grazed  the divers’ heads

as they fed on plankton in the harbor lights,

how the fiery lava from Kilauea

slid into the sea,

disappearing but building something new?


If you can hear me, answer.



(Originally published in Third Wednesday)

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