Humid Day for a Poet
(c) Ruth Latta, 2010, 2011
I picture Pablo Neruda in several settings.
First, in bed with a woman
in a room overlooking the sea.
Filmy curtains billow in the windows
as the waves crash
and the tides ebb and flow
and he says her skin is as pink
as dawn in Santiago.
I picture Pablo at a picnic,
perhaps at the Arboretum,
with embroidered cloths spread on the grass,
where pot-luck provides a loaves and fishes miracle
and people sprawl under the trees
and the notes of a guitar
inspire him to write another ode.
I see him at a podium in Sweden
accepting the noblest prize of all.
You can Google the photo.
No one wants to picture a poet
growing grey, with flesh like jello,
perspiring at her dining room table,
tuning out the twinges of conscience and arthritis.
Should she turn on the air-conditioner
or, for the sake of the environment,
Blue lines from the paper smear her hands,
paper sticks to her fingers
and a hot affectionate long-haired cat
tries to take her pen,
as she yearns to be the woman by the sea
or a poet like Pablo.