Shortly before he was killed, my husband and I moved to a rattle-trap beach house on the peninsula in Long Beach. Going to sleep to the sound of the surf and waking to dolphins and pelicans sustained me through the almost unbearable grief. Making the place habitable gave me a task; writing gave me purpose. I am still here, loving the place, taking nothing for granted. www.donnahilbert.com
Advice to Young Poets
to any lover
outside a hearse.
Neophyte and the Swan
He shattered her glass
climbing over the table
to kiss her, that hot afternoon,
when she quoted his poem over wine.
It was free verse, abstract in part,
and difficult, he knew,
committing it to heart.
They kissed the afternoon away,
and on the drive back, kissed
through every stop sign and red light.
Between the kisses
he smoked a cigarette.
And, what she failed to reconcile
about that day, was the casual way
he tossed the ember from the window,
considering how hot and dry the summer,
how much fuel there was to burn.
preceding poems from The Congress of Luminous Bodies, Aortic Books, 2013
To change the water, I pluck
last week’s tulips from their vase,
but the turbans unhinge in my hands,
orange cups upend in the sink,
with underside bands
of stem-colored green revealed.
A still life subject, I think:
tulips in their disrepair
My love is a painter. Daily I tell him,
paintings are everywhere
but poems, my dear, are rare.
I am not a painter,
so I drop the old petals into a sack
with over-ripe cheese, uneaten fruit
and down the back stairs I march
the whole tableau to the trash.
from The Green Season, 2nd Edition, World Parade Books, 2009
©2016 Donna Hilbert