Orphan

Nocturnal (Horizon Line), 2010, by Teresita Fernández



I’d come to help settle your
mother’s affairs. On the last night,

we ate where she worked all
her life. Now that she’s gone,

you said, I’ll never come back.
Looking out over the dark, you saw

a light in the distance, a boat
crossing the bay, and told

the story of the fisherman
cursed to float adrift

forever. You hadn’t thought of it
since you were a child, and held

your hand across the table to
show me how it trembled.

I didn’t understand until, alone,
years later, wandering the city where

I was born, I stood before
a black wall, polished to shimmer,

and it looked to me like the sea
at night, hard and endless.
You can read the rest of the PINTURA : PALABRA portfolio in the March 2016 issue of Poetry. All images in this portfolio are courtesy of and with permission from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Nocturnal (Horizon Line) by Teresita Fernández, museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment © 2010, Teresita Fernández.
Source: Poetry (March 2016)
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