Petrarch

The Pines, Fire Island — 1988

 

 

Years shaped like the tree trunks,

calligraphies of grey, teal and umbre;

the cross-marks for all our failed imaginings

and a friend’s death.

 

The morning is green.

The house in the Pines —

flat squares and planks.

 

The birds sing like Petrarch,

their sonnets,

floating like letters of light —

lost missives of a humanist,

from the other end of the marsh.

 

We ascend the dunes,

a vantage to see

this illumined page of sea.

Beyond summer homes,

 

a renaissance of blue —

an empty frame of beach.

When Laura died he wrote farewell

on parchment as thin and dry

as this air —

 

the face remembered

in a small tangle of words,

like the thicket we passed on the way home —

bunched-up, hidden, dark.

 

 

From Poets for Life: Seventy-Six Poets Respond to AIDS,

“Petrarch” by Walter Holland,  © 1989

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© 2017 by Walter Holland. Website by Deb.