This poem was written for an elderly lady, Haydee Cansada. She was born into position and wealth in Cuba, but had to leave when Castro came to power. She lived in a small apartment in our town to be near her brother, her closest remaining relative. I took Spanish lessons from her and the reference to an owl comes from a discussion we had about why the owl is a symbol of wisdom. She longed for the chance to see Cuba again but it never happened. I wrote this for her as a present while she was still alive.
Fog of morning rolls up from the ground,
Windless motion that carries no sound
Except the hoot of an owl.
Out past the porch where ought to be trees,
Hangs abstract forest without any leaves,
Shrouded in a misty cowl.
Down the front steps, grass, smooth and deep,
Soft, wet and messy, adheres to my feet
And bends temporarily prone.
The air had texture that rubs on my face.
My God, how have I come to this place
To be so all alone?
Symmetrical webs perspire in the light
Reflecting labors completed last night,
Designed not to hinder the view.
Beauties of Spring, their colors in array,
Just memories masked by this curtain of gray.
Vainly, I strain to see through.
At last through the mist an unfiltered ray
Of sunlight cleaves cleanly, announcing the day
With its welcoming light.
Slowly, above, the veil changes hue,
First lacy, then pastel, then Caribbean blue.
Again the beloved sight!