Reverse

The dead were rising like bubbles
a fire’s ravaged house was back on its footing
a phoenix returned to the roof
the window …a cathedral’s port of of light

When the piano sounded
an old man stopped short
was young again with his bride

This was a tale for aging children
weary of war and home town killers
They danced savoring gelato
announced with an invisible bell.

It was raining
that morning
Happiness brimmed
good and dark

And then the sun
crept out

 

Double

I couldn’t concentrate on Bach
I thought I was seeing double
On reaching the third prelude
My attention gave out

I examined the page from the bench
There were two
One on top of another
Or was it one with its shadow
projected on the white paper?

At the prelude again
I saw streak past
whizz near the lamp
a fly in pursuit of another one

Was I blessed to witness
life urgently wanting to be
another race compelled to continue?
And was I mad not to seek the swatter
and let them go on living

fixing my gaze with steel purpose
on the music of Bach long dead
sounding from the piano keys I pressed?

 

Roberta GouldRoberta Gould’s poetry has appeared very widely in magazines and anthologies, including Confrontation, Mid American Review, The Art and Craft of Poetry, Socialism and Democracy, and Mightier. She is the author of thirteen books, the most recent being Woven Lightning (Spuyten Duyvil Press), and Talk When You Can Tell the Truth. She lives in the Hudson Valley.