Let there always be

the bright juice of oranges,
sun on the kitchen tiles,
a small nonessential bird
unraveling morning,

silvery snail trails, blue iris,
the gopher, the palm tree, the goat
that found its way into the house,

pigeons stitched onto telephone wires,
the clear sound of the sea,
a time when everyone is away,
a plate of milk, a tin of strawberry jam.

But never again the open gate
to the empty house down the street,
the algae drowning
the abandoned pool,

the man who stood by the edge
beginning the dirge.
The still water. The small
blue shoe.


Ruth Bavetta