Thomas DeFreitas



are never easy.
The young lady barkeep, mid-thirties,
on whom I've had a crush
since the summer of 2010.
The ministering angel
of my Bowdoin Street watering-hole.
Knee-high boots and four-letter words
punching the soul
like a fist of brass.

I want to clutch my pillow,
assume the fetal position,
and sob loud racking sobs out of love for her.
I want to say my rosary on her toes.
I want to be a pair of her socks.
I love her like Dylan Thomas
and autumn and Glenlivet
and breath and bread
and sweet suffering Jesus
and Thandie Newton's ankles.
I love her like St Matthew's Passion
and "Come On, Eileen"
and the Luminous Mysteries.

I can't go there anymore.
And I think it's going to
hurt for a while.

I might have to talk about it
at a meeting.




86th Letter to Elena


Yesterday I wept for a lost friend,
who died some months ago in wise midlife:
a woman whose friendship I cherished
and who succumbed to a fast and vicious cancer.

Yesterday I had the good company
of your book in the eye doctor's waiting-room.
Your poems bring me the Illinois of your youth:
corn and sun, wide blue sky, and tender growth.

Yesterday I saw a woman of seventy
offering to help a woman of twenty-five
(whose fingers had been fumbling at the task)
bind her dark abundant hair
in a yellow ribbon.
The two were strangers, newly met
in the underground Harvard busway.
The younger woman crouched a bit
and politely suggested, "If you could make a bow?"
and the older woman did so, lovingly.

Yesterday I read of an elderly rabbi
climbing a chair during gunfire
to urge his terrified congregation
to immediate safety and to future courage.

Yesterday was Monday, full springtime.
April in New England is a festival,
a riot of blossoms, bright and bold,
that will not make it to the end of May.




Thomas DeFreitas was born in Boston in the year of the first moon landing. He is an alumnus of the Boston Latin School who attended the University of Massachusetts. His poems have appeared in Dappled Things, Ibbetson Street, Muddy River Poetry Review, Plainsongs, and Soul-Lit (Spring 2019). He lives in Arlington, Massachusetts.