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21 OCTOBER 2016


revision #6

of a poem by Therese L. Broderick

to be read publicly on November 4th and 5th

for Breathing These Words

(a sub-project of Breathing Lights)


Dar A Luz

~to give birth (literally, to give to light)


Here at our feet we endow a shrine

in honor of the many generations who alighted from

this Clinton Avenue threshold

bearing hand-held candles, lanterns, lamps,

flickering & garlanded luces de Navidad,

flashlights, cameras, the first iPhones.


For the seamstress, carpenter, clerk or barber

who once cleansed this spot with broom and mop,

for tenants who swept away autumn’s samaras

and owners who shoveled snow—

I now place here a silver frame with photograph

of immigrants inhabiting their new porches.

One of you may wish to add by hand

an amber beer or soda bottle rinsed

and filled with the brief-blossoming stems

of curbside roses. Another may wish to unveil

a polished golden cross or a necklace glistening

with storied pendants—stars, crescents, ovals.

Medialunas, estrellas, cruces, óvalos.


And for the sake of Peace, someone must retrieve

a few stark silhouettes—newspaper clippings

of young recruits headed to the Albany Armory,

soldiers, sailors, pilots, nurses who from these steps

had kissed their loved ones farewell.

On behalf of wartime’s brides and embattled widows

which  one of us can spare

an old cookbook, scrawled recipes for lemon pudding?

Who can bequeath to fatherless girls and motherless boys

some rubber balls & jacks, gleaming marbles?

Canicas relucientes.


Tonight, in truce, we illuminate from floor to roof

this house with a clear view, casa con vista, of Pearl Street,

the beaming port, our valley’s glimmering river.

Windows glowing from a new century’s

battery cells & diode strips

magnify our gifts as they swell from dim to bright,

nearly timed to the moon waxing above us, globe

fertile with reflections. May we occupy this moment’s

rebirth. All of us, todos, ocupemos la luz.

About ThereseLBroderick

Independent community poet living in Albany, New York USA.

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