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Three Poems by Juan Pablo Mobili

Updated: Nov 30, 2020

lemon tree, image by photosforyou, on Pixabay

(lemon tree, image by photosforyou, on Pixabay)

Losing Your Parents

Their loss is always news

even if you’ve written

heartfelt elegies already.

Among the stones

Virginia Woolf packed in her pockets

I bet that two of them were

for her mother and her father

before she walked carefully

to the bottom of the world.

When your parents close their eyes

two moons eclipse your sun

and a distinct absence

begins to follow you

like a timid dog

at a certain distance

trying not to scare you

but keen on its mission

the way some animals

trace the scent of grief

or stones sink

the full depth of a river

or an orphan can tell an orphan

across the room.


The Girl in the Garden

for my granddaughter, Sophia

She likes to find small stones

to carry

in the spring

when the bees stand atop

long stems of weed grass

she stops and gasps

the small stones still in her hand

I think she loves the garden because

she is the tallest creature there



to Victoria, and her victory

My grandmother belonged

to the tribe that wanted peace

My brother and I wanted war

we stalked the magnolia

hunted the lemon tree

The only thing that was abrupt about her

was her silence

a precipice from which

our loud talk jumped off

to its death

She knew that patience wins sieges

so she seeded green grapes

peeled them with her fingernails

cut them in halves

and set the bowl at the main gate

to appease the barbarians


Juan Pablo Mobili was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and is an adopted son of the

city and state of New York. The son of a teacher and a poet, he came of age in his

native country during a tragic period of its history, when many thousands of young men

and women were unconstitutionally detained, tortured, and often murdered. His poems

carry the memory of those times, and also embrace his life in the United States, his

home for many years. What he loves, and what troubles him, as a citizen of one family

and two countries bears its presence in his poems. His writing has appeared in English

and Spanish, in Argentina, Germany, Spain, and the United States. In addition to that,

he released a chapbook of poems in collaboration with Madalasa Mobili, published by

Seranam Press, called Three Unknown Poets.

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