Love Letter to Tomorrow

There you are
in tomorrow.
Saturday morning
snorkeling in DaNang
where there are now
five-star resorts on the coast
of the South China Sea
and Robert Duvall
would love the smell of
mango juice in the morning.
If you hear
The Flight of the Valkyries,
it’s only because someone has
set his Pandora station
to Wagner’s greatest hits.

While here,
it is still Friday,
and Nice is stained
with a mile long swath of blood
where a truck barreled through
the crowds who gathered
to celebrate freedom.

Here where it is still today,
a coup has broken out in Turkey
where you once visited
the Blue Mosque in Istanbul
and Mary’s birthplace in Ephesus
And at this moment,
the newscaster explains
that she simply
doesn’t know what is happening.

As I get ready for bed,
I think of you
half a world away,
and I wonder what tomorrow
will bring.
You are already there.
Can you tell me?



In Dublin Castle,
where genealogy is an art
treasured by American tourists,
I discovered my family coat of arms.

Framed in a shield above my name,
a great white whale in profile
gliding westward across the sea,
a plume of salty spray rising
from her spout.

Who were we,
these Cahills,
guided by Leviathans
that lured us from our home?

Were we sailors,
and she our guide through
vaguely charted waters?

Or whalers
hauling back to port
tons of blubbery flesh,
and this symbol
a mere tribute to commerce?

Or were we poets,
entranced by the paradox
of enormity and grace
and she the embodiment of the two?

I find no answers in the ancient Gaelic inscription
scribbled beneath the name,
but questions being so much more inviting
than answers,
I leave with a history
that is mine for the making.


The Gardens at Villa Lecchi

The locals are smarter than I am.
They draw the shades and nap
while the sun bakes the stone terrace
overlooking the olive groves.
They will wake later in the day
to the ancient perfume
of roses steeping in the sun–

Roses that still smell like the roses
of a hundred years ago,
Roses mingling with honeysuckle
and sweet basil and lavender,
simmering in the afternoon heat,
Roses in apricot and yellow and crimson,
each hue a voice in a choir
of fragrant variations.

Who can sleep in the midst
of this aromatic concerto,
fragrances singing
on the faintest breeze,
the bees too drunk with it
to care when I lean in,
pressing my cheek to a blossom.

Sweat trickles
between my shoulder blades
and down my back.
The sun burns my neck.
If I had a lick of sense
I’d drift into the parlor
and close my eyes
But how can sense
outweigh such scents?


Gloria Hefferman

Gloria Hefferman

Gloria Heffernan’s poetry chapbook, Some of Our Parts, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in 2018. In addition, her work has appeared in over forty journals including fiction in Chautauqua Literary Journal, Stone Canoe, and an upcoming anthology from Main Street Rag. Her poetry has appeared in Columbia Review, Louisville Review, Gargoyle, Jabberwock, and The Healing Muse. She teaches part-time at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, and I also teaches a poetry workshop for adults in Fayetteville, New York entitled, Poetry as a Spiritual Practice.