the canary

“Sometimes one goes along the street, sad
Asking for the canary not to die”*

because it is canary yellow
because the notes of its song
are crisp and gilded, they cheerily crustate
the furthest corner of a wired cage
but on balconies, all along the street
geraniums are discomforted
shedding vermillion like stigmata
summer is in culmination
and I’m already too late for the funeral

I barely knew of la poetisa
never heard the words she was so famous for
today was just a chance discovery of death
finding she had already left us
behind a fabulous body of work
the lascivious pen lying low at last
her tongue silent, once so foreign sounding
huskily brusque in that Cuban Spanish way
and we’ll reap her repertoire for seeds
press each and every poem between dry pages

the canary asks for her along the street
sad that she no longer goes there

*opening translation from Encuentro – remembering Carilda Oliver Labra- 1922-2018 and joining open link night at dVerse