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13 OCTOBER 2016

Revision #5 of the poem which I’m writing for Breathing These Words, a sub-project of Breathing Lights.


Dar Luz

~to give birth (literally, to give light)


We gather to remember the generations

who alighted this Albany threshold

with hand-held candles, lanterns, lamps,

flickering garlands.

Luces de Navidad.


For the seamstress, carpenter, or barber

who once cleansed this space with broom and mop,

who swept away autumn’s samaras

and in winter brushed off the glittering snow—

let us nestle at our feet a shining shrine.

Un santuario centelleante.


Set down here some old gold

picture frames—photos of children posing

for street parades, seated on gleaming ponies.

Set down some stark silhouettes of new recruits

who from these steps had kissed their mothers

farewell. Soldiers, sailors, pilots, nurses.

Las enfermeras, los enfermeros.


One of us may wish to place here

a wine or soda bottle, rinsed and filled

with the blossoming stems

of curbside roses. Another may drape

a necklace strung with a single polished cross

or star, crescent or oval.

Medialuna, estrella, cruce, óvalo.


Which one of us can spare

on behalf of those brides and myriad widows

an old cookbook, scrawled recipes for lemon pudding?

Who can bequeath to tomorrow’s children

rubber balls & jacks, shimmering marbles?

Canicas relucientes.


These windows glowing with a new century’s

battery cells magnify our gifts. Light strips swell

from dim to bright, timed to the moon

waxing above us, sphere fertile with reflections

of distant undying flames.

Otra luna, otro sol, otras llamas.


We must occupy rebirth: this threshold

given light, this doorway in clear view

of Pearl Street and our glimmering river.

La calle de las perlas. Las perlas de nuestro río.


by Therese L. Broderick




About ThereseLBroderick

Independent community poet living in Albany, New York USA.

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