04 February 2009

Lola Haskins

[from Lola Haskins's Forty-four Ambitions for the Piano, University of Central Florida, 1990]


Rock your hand
as though gentling a jar
where dark-chopped fruits have slept
among the lemon peels.

My wrists turn easily in air,
yet when I bring them to the keys,
they stiffen.
Of course.
Such freedom takes a life
of long and daily exercise

until finally
every muscle moves the hand
and your boat begins to slide
along the river
red with years of leaves.

Around a bend there is a tin-roofed house
on algaed piers
in whose one room
a woman's wrist shines

as her hand moves across
the page. If you beached now
you could walk there in an hour.
But you will not,
having chosen to go by water.

Forty-Four Ambitions for the Piano (Contemporary Poetry Series)

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