Poet’s Corner: Poor Little Heart


On the bicentennial of Nancy Luce’s birthday

I have not understood

this world at all.

I am alone,

risen from the sands,

prolific in my words,

but much sickness,

and sad.

The wind. My head

cannot stand it.

The damage and the shock

of the damage.

The smell of quiet.

A color, oh, a soft

yellow of corn

for my little hearts

and for poor I.

Faint green of

fresh hay. The smell

of it. Blue, the sky

blue. White gauze

clouds. Cow warm,

chewing all night

in the back bedroom.

A small farm, a small

Jersey cow,

the most lovely of cows.

Chickens in the yard

in the afternoon.

A trip to South America

at night. Safe

under my house.

The Buddha says

there are 118 states

of consciousness

with no misery,

no suffering.

If only they were

all here on the farm.

People missing, people

gone. When I slip off

the cliff of life,

no one left for my

poor little hearts, please

kill the chickens, please.

They must suffer no

sufferings nor be

crueled in any way.

Chop off their heads

so they won’t live

to mourn Nancy Luce.

Jill Jupen lives in Vineyard Haven with her husband, four dogs, and lots of books.