~to give birth (literally, to give light)
Lingering at its quiet door—this threshold
Foreclosed, entry to a vacant house
Awaiting rebirth as a home with a view
Of Pearl Street and the twinkling river.
Casa con vistas.
We stand here with due respect
For generation after generation
Who once illumed this passageway
With hand-held candles, lanterns, lamps, garlands
Of flickering bulbs.
Guirnaldas de luces de Navidad.
Let us model a small shrine at our feet
Honoring owners, tenants, hired help
Who once cleansed this space with broom and mop,
Who swept away autumn’s samaras
And in winter brushed off the glittering snow.
Upon this threshold set down gold & silver
Picture frames harboring silhouettes
Of this avenue’s inhabitants; and crystal vases
Filled with the blossoming stems
Of curbside roses; and necklaces draping
Crosses or stars, crescents or ovals.
Medialunas, estrellas, cruces, óvalos.
Which one of us might kindly spare
A long smooth yellow ribbon, satin,
For every resident warrior dead
Or missing in action? Who can bring
For the kitchen’s lost brides and widows
An old cookbook, scrawled recipes for lemon pudding?
Who can bequeath to tomorrow’s children
Some balls & jacks, shimmering marbles?
Soon, to magnify our visit, these windows
Will be lit with temporary tenants—
Light tubes on a timer, batteries pulsing
Bright to dim, dim to bright.
Above their glow will swell our November moon
Waxing Gibbous, moon pregnant
With more moons, radiant reflection
Of distant undying flames.
Otra luna, otro sol, otras llamas.