La Preciosa

Comb-bound: 71 pp.
Published: 2002

Price: $9.95




Brodsky compiled these thirty-three "childhood poems" to celebrate the third birthday of his daughter, Trilogy. A gentle collection chronicling Trilogy’s development from one to three years of age, La Preciosa captures precious moments Brodsky spends with his child as she begins to walk, talk, and play, revealing the love and awe he feels for his "little girl growing."



Catching Fireflies

A murky dusk announces us to each other
And to the night bending slowly over
Into shadows under which we snuggle,
Waiting for the first emergence of lightning bugs.

As the grass grows imperceptibly moist,
We stand at impasse, exhorting our daughter
To be patient. We hand her a glass jar,
Its lid hastily ventilated by a nail,

And ask her to imagine it filled with moons.
Soon, as if humming an inaudible villanelle,
The first firefly becomes a welding tip,
Lifts invisibly from the lawn, straight up,

Hovers, dissolves in the trees, leaving its dot
As an indelible spot on our memories. Suddenly,
Shooting stars shower our backyard.
Our child runs wild, trying to capture one,

Pull it down from her head-high sky,
Keep it within the grasp her eyes circumscribe.
Missing the elusive insects, she chases to the edge
Of her expectations, then hands the task to her mother.

Within minutes, the vessel is a blinking neon
Projecting, in a logo she alone can decipher,
Delights from previous worlds she's known.
Such brilliantly dazing phosphorescences

Presage sleep for our mesmerized child.
They've touched her brain with persisting moon-dust,
Painted her dreams with dizzying possibilities
For discovering scintillating visions of paradise.

As night resumes its own conversation
Between fleeting flashes and sweeping beacons,
We open the door to the dream's next morning,
Where white rhinos and unicorns already cavort.



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