Life and War with Mikey Fatboy Delgado
Monday, March 20, 2017
Luciano has passed away – sign on the café door.
Don’t close your eyes in Spring, even for a second.
So much happens. Just for a day I missed
the ornamental cherry where the paths meet
and now the fat baubles of blossom are gone,
laying as petals at the crosspath like pink-tinged snow
on the long-trumpet daffodils.
In the café the gardeners have made a gift of primroses.
Every table has one. They are for Luciano.
At the Gaggia machine which makes too-strong coffee
Lydia sees primroses everywhere she looks.
Her sadness is unrelenting. The counter
is a barrier to holding her.
It makes me ashamed to be happy
in front of her and the primroses
when I remember that Luciano has gone.
At the table I am composing a letter
to Ali in Mosul. I am saying Yes. Spring.
The lesser celandine, now it’s everywhere,
the big-starred and the little-starred.
While I walked in the woods today
I sent thoughts to you of blackbirds and robins.
As they flitted from tree to tree I imagined
orange and yellow tracer fire across the path.
But it was quiet there, not like war at all, just as loud
as the fluttering wings of birds on branches.
I am writing at the café table. In my arms
is my sweet baby who took her first steps
when I was looking the other way. I missed them.
She has soft brown hair and the sweetest nature.
People looking at her almond eyes
ask if there is any Chinese in the family.
They crowd around us, cooing about life
in the shadow of Lydia’s grief. Oh Lydia,
keep your sweet faith. Don’t die inside.