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by Stuart Ross

And my mother is on the balcony
and my father is making cheese sandwiches
and my mother is writing a letter
that my father will discover
two months later in their bedroom
in Toronto, the morning
we're to bury her

she writes that
she is on the balcony
and he is making cheese sandwiches
and she says she feels treasured
and if ever there are grandkids
tell them she'd've loved them

and in five years my brother
dies in my sobbing father's arms
and my father one year after
and I cannot find the letter
my mother wrote in Pompano
but I remember the word treasured
it's how she felt, she said

and palm trees sway in the hot breeze
and butterflies called daggerwings drift past
and sand skinks swim through millions of grains of sand
and I - I am a pompano
I am this fish and I search
for that letter in my mother's hand
beyond the Atlantic coast

Cover ofA Sparrow Came Down Resplendent

This poem is taken from Stuart Ross’ collection A Sparrow Came Down Resplendent (2016). His most recently published work is his novel Pockets (2017).

The Poetry Blackboard showcases poems curated by Kingston's Poet Laureate, Helen Humphreys, and written by Kingston poets. There's a new poem every month, written by poets living and dead, historical and contemporary, published and unpublished, adults and children, giving full range to the cultural voice of Kingston.

See all of the poems previously published on The Poetry Blackboard