Issue > Poetry
Scott Hightower

Scott Hightower

Scott Hightower is the author of four books of poetry in the U.S. and Hontanares, a bi-lingual collection (Spanish-English) published by Devenir, Madrid. His third book won the 2004 Hayden Carruth Award. Hightower’s translations from the Spanish have garnered him a prestigious Barnstone Translation Prize. When not teaching as adjunct faculty at NYU, the Gallatin School, he sojourns in Spain.

Blind Heart

             Sudden and swift and light as that

                The ties gave.

                                      —Robert Frost, "The Hill Wife"    
My parents were small town; hometown
sweethearts who met and fell in love
at a country house dance. No Shakespeare
was present. After a life together,
they, now, rest together,
buried not ten miles away
from where each was born.

My parents were also

both adulterers. . .

My stalwart mother was left
during World War II without
an engagement ring on her finger.
But going to work in an urban center
and marrying a handsome doppelgänger
only led to her sending and receiving
letters through her girlfriend so her husband
would not find out. Ah, Thomasina Gilley,
the go-between. . .who would be
one of my mother's
stops, attempting to find
her way; even after my father's death.

It was as if she needed to see Tommie
and her husband, Leon Stolji, still in San Antonio,
as if something in that perspective
could lead her to some kind of resolution
in her widows weeds. To this day,
I have an abiding affection for Sharon,

Tommie and Leon's daughter.

My father, never answered the letters

that came from the lovely French woman:

"Ah, Billy, what about your learning French?

We are concerned as we have not heard a word
from you since your return to America."



           Besides the grave.

                         —Robert Frost, "The Hill Wife"    

Scantily clothed, muscular,
attractive, and blind.

Samson in the print

of my mother's Bible. . .

His head is shorn. Leaning
in his blue loincloth.

Dantes's second ring of Hell is reserved
for the engulfing, adulterous love

of those that turn their backs on God.
Blind and grinding. . .

I read the letters,
to my father; the trove

my greedy mother
had saved dutifully.

When she died, I read
and burned them, one by one.


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