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Poets D

Dove - Dixon

Sunday Night at Grandfather's
by Rita Dove

He liked to joke and all of his jokes were practical.
The bent thumb jiggling between two ribs, his
Faked and drunken swoon. We tipped by and
He caught us, grandfather's right, right
Up to the cliff of his pure white
Shirt, real Fruit-of-the-
Loom. We shrieked and
He cackled like
A living
Ghost.

He hated Billy the parakeet, mean as half-baked sin.
He hated church-going women and the radio turned
Up loud. His favorite son, called Billy
Too, had flown the coop although
Each year he visited, each
Time from a different
City, gold
Tooth and
Drunk.

Then out came the cherry soda and potato chips and pretzels.
Grandma humming hymns and rocking in the back bedroom.
Dad holding Billy out on a thick and bitten finger,
Saying Here: Come on Joe--touch him.
Every Sunday night the same.
Dad's quiet urging and
That laugh: You've
Got to be
Kidding,
Son.

From Selected Poems by Rita Dove. Copyright 1993 (Vintage). Reprinted courtesy of the author.


Did I Know You and Love You In Another Time?
An Ode To Glenn Gould
by Helen A. Dixon

Will I know you and love you again, in a time that is to be?
Your face haunts me, from your photographs...
Mainly, I suppose, because...I never really knew you!
Ah, but how could such a thing as this happen?
Well, the moment I saw that handsome face...
The 'misty eyes' that seemed to 'hide' so much.
You see, I knew that I had known them before!
Had I known those vulnerable, pouting lips?
[Yes! And had kissed them]!

The quaint turn of your head...
The 'flounce' of your hair...
Mostly falling where it wanted to go...
Especially...when at the piano...
(I've seen the many videos, so I know)...
Always, when playing Bach...at the piano!
Uncombed, messy, and sometimes even unwashed...
But there, in the films and photographs of you...
It seems not to matter...it's just...well, you!
And a genius can get by with anything...
Who cares about such as this or that...
When you can play the music of the Angels?

Your hands! I must speak of your hands,
The long slender fingers...
That were capable of so much magic...
More than any magician's have ever wrought!
They were so important to you...
And to the world of music, [and to me]!
The lazy slouch, you folded into...
And the steely, steady gaze...
When listening [and judging] your music...
The faraway look in those azure eyes...
Where did they go to...so far away?
The enigmatic sweetness of your sensitive face...
That speaks volumes of silent poetry to me...

And songs, and romantic sweet-nothings [and every-things]...
Words that I know were there, inside your heart...
And wait there still, longingly, patiently...
Now, even yet, waiting for our time to be together...
In another world...another space...our private realm...
In our own prescient dimension that awaits us...
You...and...me...and...us...just us!
After all, we are predestined to be together...
When I, too, shall die!

Copyright 2009 Helen A. Dixon 

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copyright 2008 - Last Updated: 05/21/2012