Poems by Anne Fitzgerald

El Velorio

I travel easily between my different worlds,
slip soundlessly to the edge of the table,
slide into the rough-hewed chair,
I blink, owl-like, at the soft tawny faces
gathered to grieve,

their silver strands of Spanish,
I am surprised by the sprinkles of laughter
that follow so many tears.
Little brown faces peek from behind
their Tias as they whimper for cookies.

One meal blends into another:
refried beans, barbacoas,
calabacitas set out to cool,
mountains of warmed tortillas
and for the children, big Red.

The men disappear with their beers
to watch football in a back room.
The women, a coven in the kitchen, stay,
tell stories of births, deaths,
and their least favorite cousin.

When it is time for me to leave,
they pull me close, kiss crucifixes
that once belonged to their mothers,
and ward off evil spirits with Spanish prayers.
They caution me to eat more.

The women return to the kitchen
to light candles and prepare more food
while the street dogs chase my car, barking.
They snap and snarl at the tires as gravel
beats the car frame to the paved road.

as featured in Comstock Review, vol. 17, #2

Chair Bound

I once flew
with eagles
and swam
the seas,
ran in the forest
chased the deer.

I once made love
for hours
with women
who trembled beneath.
Warm kisses
like melting butter.

I once had
nothing but
Drank beer
pissed in the

Now I
can’t turn over
Nor raise my head
or greet the day
without wishing
I was dead.

as featured in Artifacts

Some notes on the poet: Anne Fitzgerald is a nurse, diver, thespian, poet and painter, not always in that order. Besides the poems above, her work has also appeared in the anthology Touched by Adoption.