V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics





My father described the hums
Of locusts in the air, steaming
Through the West Virginia air
In August.  I thought he said ribbons.
I said what?  And he noted
That they were like rhythms—

But it was too late,
For as he and I climbed the steps
To return to room fifty-four
Of the Village Inn, my mind
Played with ribbons of locusts'
Voices, stringing their green selves

Across the greying evening
Sky, their music and bodies
Glinting in starlight, revealed
By bold moon.  As I slipped
My key into the lock, Dad began
Describing how Beethoven could set
The rhythms of locusts to music—

Into a symphony.  Ribbons
Almost gone, we chatted
About our loves, music and poetry,
Dad spitting watermelon seeds
Over the black iron railing
Onto grass, as dusk came and rested
Its fine wings upon our flesh.

© by Mary Linxweiler


Contributor's note
Next page
Table of contents
VPR home page