Michael Sandler: "When Heifetz Played for One"




The bivouac a mile of mud away:

so why attend (so why go on)?

Even when it let up, leaving

just a drizzle coming down,

the glistening benches remained empty—

except one drab poncho

there in the farthest row,

ears sticking out like two radar discs

beneath his M1 helmet a-patter.

Yet out came the Tononi. Jascha

played while the cloaked figure

seemed to sway in the liquid

vibrato: first soft, then soaring

to the clearing sky, trill and

glissando into a sound  

not heard by critic or throng

or by the rising moon

when a lone wolf sings pleasing himself—

though they say it’s really a social howl

to try to locate another

and then join up, perhaps for a hunt,

or sometimes just for fun.


Michael Sandler’s poems have appeared in numerous journals, most recently Zone 3, Willow Review, Caveat Lector, Poetica, Off the Coast, Fourteen Hills, Forge, The Tower Journal, and Fogged Clarity.