A POEM FOR JENNIFER AFTER HIROMI ITO
My father died.
I opened the door and there you stood
tall and slender as light.
Gift in your hands: muffins you baked.
Your eyes between green and blue and gray.
Like the sea. Like winter sky.
You knew grief's hunger, rooting deep.
That winter I moved away,
day after day of snow and black ice.
Schools closed. Roads closed—
sadness rooted deep.
And you mailed a box of persimmons,
three rows of orange suns. I cradled
each one, set them in a wide glass bowl.
Their light filled the kitchen.
Their light filled my throat, stomach.
I mean to say, You saved my life.
I wanted to leave this Earth: too long
too cold. Darkness shaded my eyes.
And you tethered me home.
I mean to say twice—
Andrea Scarpino is the author of the poetry collection Once, Then (Red Hen Press, 2014) and the chapbook The Grove Behind (Finishing Line Press). She received an MFA in Creative Writing from The Ohio State University and is completing her PhD from Bath Spa University. She has published in numerous journals including The Cincinnati Review, Los Angeles Review, and Prairie Schooner.