Pedro Hoffmeister


From Night Comes Early These Days: Collected poems

Young Girl Carrying a Pumpkin by Fausto Zonaro

The year takes a swift turn into darkness
and there’s no way to keep my head up,
Dear God, let the light shine on my face

in this great series of disappointments,
collected pharmaceutical brand notepads,
refrigerator magnets, credit card offers,

rotten pumpkins left over from Halloween,
scattered decks of junk-mail in the kitchen,
mismatched silverware, unpaid bills, my cat

huddles over a pile of rat entrails on the porch,
the only remains of something that lived just an hour
before, but now no fur to be found, no head or tail,

no teeth or claws. In this symbolic narrative that is my
real life, am I the rat or the junk mail? The mismatched
silverware or the unpaid bills? Is it so difficult

to imagine all of the inadequacies I can
deliver? Is it so difficult to understand that I
will never be everything you want me to be?

I open a bag of flour from the cabinet and discover
Mediterranean Flour Moths, their wings ticking the bag,
larvae sticky, the moist – almost sweet – smell of decay.


About the writer:
Peter “Pedro” Brown Hoffmeister’s was the Poet/Writer-In-Residence of Joshua Tree National Park in the spring of 2015. His novels have earned starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, The Bulletin, VOYA, and year-end Best Books of 2016 and 2017 by the American Library Association, VOYA, and Bank Street. He has recently been publishing poetry with Writers Resist. These three poems are from the forthcoming collection Night Comes Early These Days and are a further reconciliation with brain injury and an understanding of how he and his mother deal with their traumas.

Image: Young Girl Carrying a Pumpkin by Fausto Zonaro (1854-1929). Oil on canvas. 137 x 245 cm. 1889. Public domain.