Thomas DeFreitas


89th Letter to Elena


Tomorrow I'll be seeing
Alison my therapist
at 10 am. I should get
ready for sleep; instead,
I'm drinking coffee.

Some days I'm weary,
glum. I get vague urges:
to drop in on the Quakers,
visit the Trappists, learn Welsh,
take guitar lessons.

On other days, there are
unexpected blessings.
During the drive home
from Concord Friday night
with Mary and Hilary and Linda,

my friends sang "Moonshadow"
and "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!"
And there was Sunday's reading
with Krysten H and Shara M,
noble and necessary voices.

But please, tell me what's going on
with you in Milwaukee!
Are there fleet-footed baristas
gliding through crowded cafés
like millennial Fred Astaires?

Are there parks with fierce sparrows
and heat-wilted tiger-lilies?
Are there August leaves
the color of trash-bags, is there
sunlight that bothers your eyes,

haze that buzzes around you
like a small swarm of flies?
Do you take your bike to the river
and hang with a crew
of red-winged blackbirds?




Women are wise
in Newfoundland.
Smiling and sharp-witted,
they sing wholesouledly
with platinum blossoms
in their voices,
with sturdy earth
in each note.

Women are strong
in Newfoundland.
as November oceans.
as the philosophic stars.
With poems and power
in their bare toes,
with Dante and divinity
in their fearless eyes,
with the quiet strum
of an old guitar
in the swooning curve
of their bellies.

Women are lively
in Newfoundland.
Spendthrift of kisses,
ungrudging with hugs.
Legions of men
obey their eloquence.
Countless acolytes
serve their silence.

Women are real
in Newfoundland.
Poetic as Celtic twilight,
intoxicating as chartreuse,
intricate as astrophysics,
simple as bread.
I hope you understand.
Women are beautiful
in Newfoundland. 




Thomas DeFreitas was born in Boston at the tail-end of the 1960s. He is an alumnus of the Boston Latin School. He has published work in Soul-Lit on two previous occasions; his work has also appeared in Dappled Things, Ibbetson Street, and Plainsongs.  Tom lives in Arlington, Massachusetts, and is a member of the Bee Hive Poets and of the New England Poetry Club.