Poetry Porch: Poetry


Hidden Places
By Maguerite Bouvard

There is a quiet place inside me,
where joy and sorrow are
intertwined, where I carry
the story of another person,
and understanding comes

too late, or maybe without seeing
the breadth of a life that
has touched mine until that
life has disappeared. I think
of all the letters that have

traveled between a black prisoner
and myself, the slow growth
of coming together as friends,
of opening closed doors; the small
one where I had trouble reading

his handwriting, the decision
I made to honor his life with all
its agonies and talents, his reaching
towards the light, his music,
and the sounds of his childhood;

ambulance sirens, shot guns,
car accidents, when he was in a world
that didn’t have the maps he
needed to steer a difficult terrain,
the privileges so many of us

take for granted. And then when
the pandemic led to a “lockdown”
of prisons, with the governor of his state
refusing to release the death rate,
his life ended without

notice, I reread a letter that
I failed to treasure, the grace
of a thank you note, of amity,
reaching out and staying
deep inside me, much too late.

Copyright © 2021 by Marguerite Bouvard.