‘Orphan’ is a hauntingly beautiful poem written by Blas Falconer and is taken from ‘Borderlands and Crossroads’. Blas is an acclaimed poet who has won a number of awards including the ‘Maureen Egen Literary Award’, the ‘New Delta Review Eyster Prize’ for poetry and the ‘Barthelme Fellowship’.
I’d come to help settle your
mother’s affair. On the last night,
we ate where she worked
all her life. Now that she’s gone,
you said, I’ll never come back.
Looking out over the dark, you saw
a light in the distance, a boat
crossing the bay, and told
the story of the fisherman
cursed to float adrift
forever. You hadn’t thought of it
since you were a child, and held
your hand across the table to
show me how it trembled.
I didn’t understand until, alone,
years later, wandering the city where
I was born, I stood before
a black wall, polished to shimmer
and it looked to me like the sea
at night, hard and endless