Letter to America by Lois P. Jones

One Poem

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In a Time of Corona

with a line from Joanna Klink

I left camellias for you
            by the stone bridge—

                       pink into white petals

circling the multitudes
            of ovules yellow as late corn.

                       I did not pluck them

like a feather thief
            from their leathery beds

                       but gathered blooms

from where they’d fallen
            and scattered their bodies

                       across the capstones.

Don’t be afraid
            to touch them. The day

                       will always be full

of reasons to stop
            breathing. Lie down. Lie down

                       and feel the rivers shift,

blue veins through soil.
            Place a petal on each eye.

                       Let them blush you

into waking. Let them say you met my passing
            with a kiss, their skins,

                       soft and veined as yours.




Lois P. JonesLois P. Jones was a finalist for two poems in the 2018 Terrain.org Poetry Contest judged by Jane Hirshfield. Other awards include the Lascaux Poetry Prize in 2018, the Bristol Poetry Prize in 2017 judged by Liz Berry and the Tiferet Poetry Prize, with work thrice listed for the Bridport Prize and the National Poetry Competition. Jones has work published or forthcoming in Guerinca Editions, New Voices: Contemporary Writers Confronting the Holocaust, Narrative, and American Poetry Journal. Her poem “Reflections on La Scapigliata” was one of 30 film-poem collaborations for the 2019 Visible Poetry Project. She is the poetry editor for Kyoto Journal and the host of Pacifica Radio’s Poets Café on KPFK.

Header photo by Lois P. Jones. Photo of Lois P. Jones taken at Les Armures Restaurant, Geneva, Switzerland by Lia Brooks.

Terrain.org is the world’s first online journal of place, publishing a rich mix of literature, artwork, case studies, and more since 1997.