Thursday, May 9, 2013


I wrote this first one in the 90s. And this is the first time I've read it in a long time, but my sister reminded me of it today with talk of hydrangeas.


White and purple hydrangeas grew against
my grandmother’s house. We’d take the large leaves
and fashion them into wings, wanting to
fly off the pier, over the Bay, into
the ocean. The petals became snowflakes,
tossed from the swings onto summer bodies,
teasing the crabs. Each day was too real.
most were spent barely clothed and bare-footed
walking to the playground at the drive-in
snacking on the honeysuckle and wild
gooseberries along the way. Behind the
swings even the foot-threatening holly
tree was our ally, its shade cooling off
the silver slide for half of the day. Then
we would go fishing, spending hours in
search of worms often found under the bricks
that encircled the tigerlily bed.
we'd gaze into the rusty creek water
waiting for a hungry sun fish or perch
to appear. Later we would try to scrape
off the scales of our catch. Getting even
more scales on ourselves. Little shiny flakes
that we had to hose off. This would lead to
a water battle that would end only
when we heard Nana’s yell about drowning
the grass. We floated over each minute
until the sun left.

I wrote this one more recently. Gone are the innocent reveries of my youth!


Two hundred thousand miles below the moon,
the water splits over a rock and casts,
atop the blackwild sea towards the shore,
an afghan, white—the kind my mom crocheted,
composed more of the space between the yarn
than yarn itself. Its complex pattern snagged,
provided little warmth. I’d brush it off
like salt that sticks to me on morning swims.
But Nana’s blanket made from mismatched wool—
her leftovers from other work—with squares
knit so tight light can’t pass, I let enfold
me like the flattest, calmest lake. We sold
her empty house and pier when I was nine.
The pain that’s coming tugs like undertow.

Originally published in 32 Poems Spring 2012.

1 comment:

  1. Good morning how are you?

    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because trough them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately it’s impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

    For all this I would ask you one small favor:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from British Virgin Islands? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in British Virgin Islands in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Calle Valencia, 39
    28903 Getafe (Madrid)

    If you wish, you can visit my blog where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

    Finally I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours Sincerely

    Emilio Fernandez