“Not the Song, But After” by Nicholas Friedman

by on 09/06/12 at 9:47 am

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Now everywhere the pageantry of youth
+++++++is on display:
The squeal of bike-chains spinning through the gray
+++++++plays fugue to puddle-froth;

The punctual blitz of hyacinths in April
+++++++ushers spring
with lavender dripped from the upturned wing
+++++++of wind-swept Gabriel.

A youngish pair walks wired at the arms—
+++++++she casually ribbing
him, he lightly brushing her breast, jibbing
+++++++their step to spare the worms

stranded along the road. Too soon, their laughter
+++++++rises and goes
drifting toward silence. And now the young man knows
+++++++love’s not the song, but after—

like the mute, remembered chorus of the rain
+++++++that stains the walk
long after falling, or the lifeless stalk
+++++++still hoisting its head of grain.

Uneasy now, she loosens from his hand.
+++++++Their dark familiars
stare back, reflected by the passing cars,
+++++++with speechless reprimand.

Before the chill, each chartered hell grows hotter,
+++++++yet every burn
will teach him how to run—and how to turn
+++++++her wine back into water.

Ernest Hilbert

Ernest Hilbert is founder of E-Verse Radio.

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One Response to ““Not the Song, But After” by Nicholas Friedman”

  1. John-Michael Albert

    Jun 10th, 2012

    Superb work. Such a light touch on the rhyme, I had to look back to make sure what I thought I sensed was a fact instead of a slap. And an unusually strong instinct for form. I leave the poem feeling I got my fair measure, not too much, not somehow feeling cheated. And, of course, you make the oldest subject in the book taste fresh. Yes, they ate apples in the Garden of Eden, but this apple has crunch, its juice trickles down my chin and into my shirt. Superb work.

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