Sluggish Heart by Maria Montuori Caltabiano

Poet: Maria Montuori Caltabiano Poem title: Sluggish Heart Poem: The sky and sun hang cold and listless. I greet them halfheartedly from my kitchen window. Ritual for a sluggish heart— still missing you, my love. The garden spreads out mute and mottled… strange, the bread’s still there, untouched. Did I throw it yesterday to the birds? Or the day before? (Time has become a trickster.) Where have all the birds gone? Were the crumbs too stale this time? Odd this silence— quiet as shadow. I look away from the secretive turf to a familiar tree, unfamiliar now, stripped of rustle and feathery song. The brooding branches— black scribbles on blue, cry mockingly: Of course the bread’s untouched, you fool; your birds have left for summer sunsets and ‘rises… They’ll be gone for some time yet. Embarrassed, I remember: It’s November. End of poem. Credits: Copyright © Maria Montuori Caltabiano Forthcoming in Drawing Daybreak (Guernica Editions, Fall 2021) Born in Italy, Maria Montuori Caltabiano immigrated to Canada with her parents in the early 60s. Her love for poetry was born out of an early, grade school promise she made to herself to master English, the language of her adoptive land. A graduate of Concordia University, she has worked as news editor for CBC radio, as magazine editor, as a teacher, and as a journalist for Italian TV. She now lives and writes in Montreal, Quebec.