A Letter to Bruno: Seven Years Since He Left

by Peter Krok

A Letter to Bruno: Seven Years Since He Left
Blaise Pascal: “The heart has its reasons . . .

It has been seven years since you left
and miles of time between us.
You with your gown of white examine
the body’s illnesses.  I probe the worth
in words.  Both of us look at what passes
for a measure of meaning.

It has been seven years since you left.
Since then I left my government job settling
into a retirement of responsibilities and family,
and, of course, the pastime of writing.
Meister Eckhart wrote, “If the only
prayer you ever say in your entire life
is thank you, it will be enough.”
I’ve found there is not enough gratitude.

It has been seven years since you left
for Nottingham, a city across the sea
where you serve the ill with your science.
How we used to talk of faith, Umberto Saba
and his struggle, the Trieste of your youth.
Since you left, winters have been less cold,
summers hotter and more humid.  And
we’ve had more rain.  I lift up your smile
remembering the way you listened.

It has been seven years since you left.
Since then I lost vision in one eye.
The central vein being blocked causes
swelling in the blood vessel feeding the eye.
Through medical technology, technicians
can trace the blockage through the pupil.
With a needle Dr. Brucker brought the eyesight
back.  Every so often, the eye needs an injection.
My book’s title, as you know, is Looking For an Eye.
It has been seven years since you left.
I’m still an editor trying to keep alive
a journal, in a city staring at its own face
on its walls.  The city of the mural arts,
Philadelphia, red brick place where
I grew up wandering for faith.
Peel my skin.  You find a catholic soul,
an altar boy stumbling in the service
of a sacrifice he hardly understands.
The heart has its reasons.  Faith too its reasons.
May we make better selves along the way.