Angela Narciso Torres
for R.S., 1965-1993
Rica, when Mother’s call came
on your last day, I was in Tucson,
in a house too far from home.
From a window above
the kitchen sink, the cold
receiver to my ear, I watched
three blackbirds flutter
then settle on the branches
of a eucalyptus, older than
the sapling that barely cleared
your fence, slender boughs reaching
into our yard, pendant leaves
flashing silver into the windows
of our girlhood. Stepping into
the clay light of dusk, I remembered
the blackbirds—three, still there.
Rica, if you could hear how they called,
if you could only hear them.