"Lotus Opening" by L. Folk

Friday, September 30, 2016

Promise, A Poem for Loretta (1997)

I bought three bunches of fresh asparagus
the other day
stored them away in the drawer of the fridge
when they spoiled a day later
I told myself it had nothing to do
with God hating my guts.

I've got a long line of misfortune, asparagus
is only the beginning
loveless, penniless, obsessive, wandering wanderer
I can't help but wonder;
sometimes you view everyone around you
and then scold yourself for not being them.

I remember her bad perms, her rosary beads
and her bumper sticker
Virginia is for Lovers
her Yugo and her Jane Fonda aerobics tapes
her futile attempts at love.
Who can explain her lessons unlearned? 
Her pity and pain
like a torch they burned, burned.

Years later
after she married and had a son
I watched her bones
I watched her shrink away
among kerchiefs and black wigs

when I finally want to live, she said, I die.

On the anniversary of her death
I wanted to go to church and say a prayer
for her and I wanted to tell God that I hoped
she was a little luckier in Heaven,
but when I got to the chapel, the doors were locked.

I got in the car, I drove
I saw storm clouds
asphyxiating the sun
your life, my thoughts, just a little further
and I'll find rain

but your rays pierced through
with the wavering sign of promise.
He told me you live in my heart this way

don't fade.

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