Elegy #17
by H. Palmer Hall H. Palmer Hall

H. Palmer Hall's most recent books are Into the Thicket (Ink Brush, 2011) and Foreign and Domestic (Turning Point, 2009). His work has appeared in various magazines, from Texas Observer and North American Review to Ascent and Connecticut Review and points in between. He's a librarian at St. Mary's University where he edits Pecan Grove Press.

For Federico

Harsh winds blow in from the Gulf past Patty's Island
And against my grandmother's home. They beat against me
And against the fishermen who go out at night to drag nets
Through shallow bays, catch mullet— subsistence living. Hard
Work on dark water, lamps rest on the prows of small,
Wooden boats. Winds from the South bring the scent
Of citrus, ripe and over sweet. From the West, off the Gulf
What's left of refineries, paper mills. And from the North
New industry, a beckoning scent to drop the oars and leave.
There is no death on the winds, not even southern winds,
Only the feel of something threatening, something not far
Away. And so, the winds blow their news, their warnings.

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