Poems & Essays

18 Sep

White Laurel

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The small branch I put in a vase
white as white were the flowers
didn’t dry or fade. It lingered
bright as an evergreen
though it is known
cut laurels don’t last.

It was meant to celebrate
vacations beginnings
and togetherness with my child.
Things changed.
The boy went.
I spent the summer alone.

In my grief
I left the flowers untouched.
of naïve enthusiasm.
Two months passed
and they didn’t wither.

Among darkness I spotted
curls of tender green.
The laurel was sprouting.
A soft carpet of roots
hiding underwater
laced like a bird nest.

Laurel isn’t aquatic.
This branch chose to stay.
Vagrant? Homeless?
Now a permanent guest
bridging over emptiness.
Harbinger of return.




Toti O’Brien is the Italian Accordionist with the Irish Last Name. She was born in Rome then moved to Los Angeles, where she makes a living as a self-employed artist, performing musician and professional dancer. Her work has most recently appeared in Calamus, Dying Dahlia, Circleshow, and Fire Poetry.

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Vigil September 18, 2017 New September 18, 2017