Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Livonia Breeze, by Patrick Gonsior

Crumpled pigeon beneath the pergola
beside the Angela Hospice
behind the Chapel of the Felician Sisters
across the Gunn Branch, across the
interlocking commas carved in concrete on a rotating
planet stood one affixed to a cross. It’s defined as a crucifix,
but I don’t know it as one.

Here knelt Crystal
Here knelt Patrick on a stone hassock
We bowed our heads, crossed our hands
and said together this Catholic prayer:

to the wind
to the wind
that planetary wind
that solar wind
movement of gases
movement of charged particles
to that flow of gases
flow of nitrogen, oxygen
on a large scale
on a rotating planet
to that bulk movement of air
stronger on Neptune
stronger on Saturn
you gust
you squall
you breeze
you gale
you storm
you hurricane
you unborn, unnamed, unconceived child
you Elsie Walters, gray hair, asleep, IV and gurney cradle

How do we classify you
by your spatial scale, by your speed
by the types of forces that cause you
by the regions in which you occur
by your effects— was it the wind that took you Elsie
How do we classify you by that effect
How do we classify that local wind, that prevailing wind
that Mountain breeze
that Valley breeze
that Livonia breeze
where did you have to start
was it the length at which you lasted
was it the eighty-seven years you had

Thunderstorm flows
Heating of land surfaces
Global winds resulting from
the difference in absorption of solar energy
between climate zones on a rotating planet—the differential heating between
the equator and the poles— thermal low circulations
high plateaus can drive our beliefs in abstract nouns
our belief in God.

Livonia breeze
Where did you have to start
to answer our prayers?

1 comment:

  1. What a powerful poem, Patrick. It's a poignant tribute to your grandmother.


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