Today, Franci, a barge with your name on it
brings you back sharp as a photograph.
I re-picture you exactly, brash figurehead
facing down the Atlantic, where it buffeted
the Cliffs of Moher, holding on hard
to your stripey hat.
I think of you now, holed-up in that satellite-town
with your tool-salesman from Novellara:
did you ever complete your laurea,
my improbable philosopher, your thesis on Truth?
Was it beauty you had, after all, or just youth?
– and have you kept that?
Are you scored with soured dream
and making-ends-meet and butting a pram
through the shopperdrome?
Do you hold on to hope?
I would have it that motherhood blooms in you
riotously, like a bank of azaleas,
and twice-married men made crazy
in your landlocked suburb buy ruinous sloops
to name them for you.
from The Sadness of Animals (Canterbury: San Marco Press, 2012).