News Poetry: Puerto Rico, Preamble for an Elegy

Seems blue tarp
____is the new shade this season,
____and light comes battery and generator driven.
What the wind stripped
____was patina of paradise and the skin beneath
____not that heavenly.
Seems mud, the default color
____of shoes, and shelter will be
____what you make of it.
Citizen might be a word
____with alternative meanings, like truth,
____like inalienable.
And now time and space
____betray a difference, this far from Houston.
____Island is more than metaphor.
Seems mainland
____just what it says it is, announcing itself
____even as it renounces.
What San Juan is becoming,
____is a place to be from. We’re learning
____the meaning of diaspora.
Future is a word
____we avoid saying aloud. We’re busy eating
____our dreams.
Bastard child
____that we are, we’ll let you know
____when we’ve quit praying.

Photo credit: daniel sandoval, Creative Commons, Flickr 

Frank H. Coons is a veterinarian and poet living in Colorado. His work has appeared in The Eleventh Muse, The Santa Fe Literary Review, Pilgrimage, Imprints, Pinyon Review, El Malpais, Fruita Pulp and elsewhere. He was a finalist for the Mark Fischer Prize in 2011 and 2013. His first collection of poems, Finding Cassiopeia was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award in 2013. His second book of poems, Counting in Dog Years has recently been released. Both books were published by Lithic Press.