This poem was originally published in Nothing. No One. Nowhere. No. 3, March 2012.
Poetry in a Minor Key
I once heard a former poet Laureate
In praise of a Victorian tub
That horses drink from now
Where naked grandsires once pulled
Their naked grand dames in
To make love in water rising
To their naked chins.
I don’t object to hearing rhyme
Nor find offense in rhythmic verse;
I don’t think nostalgic pretty lines
Unsuited for a poet to rehearse.
I did not mind the acrobat
I saw in Harvard Square.
I even held the torch for him
While he lighted clubs to juggle in the air.
But I didn’t think I’d seen a circus act.
And as I put my dollar in his hat
I envied him the cheers the crowd bestowed
But sensed something sad in all of that.
I remember a once great pitcher
Throwing balls in triple A.
He rose one night to greatness
And set aside the slow decay
Of every schoolboy’s fantasies.
You should have seen him in his day
Someone said as we were filing out.
Tonight was nothing
A routine outing
Good but nothing like he used to play.
And so it was with that overindulgent line
The poet used when the poem was cast.
It seemed no more than a great arm gone limp
That only mimicked a storied past.
© Joseph Saling and The New Word Mechanic, 2013.
- PoemHunter (sites.wakingbraincells.com)