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Today's poem is by Alexandra van de Kamp

Dear Bó

Dear Babaushka, dear
ba-ba-ba-boom, dear oh-my-God
donít broil me alive. The world
is a percussive instrument
we strum until we die—hum, hum
go the car wheels over the drive;
pluck, pluck the rain sings
for the one-millionth,
bloody time. The feet
earn their calloused soles
and are the saintliest
body part of all—stomp,
stomping along. Dear
Bang on a Can, I like the way
you slap the sunken-eye
of the hollow drum. I like your
New York bandís underwater,
booming sound. I like the seaís
surface as well—how itís
hard or soft depending
on the distance from which
you choose to approach. Just try
jumping from the Brooklyn Bridge
towards that ruffling,
dark scarf of water
purring beneath. A kiss can be
the softest slap of all, but
I admire the snow, its soft-shoe
shuffle, its Fred-Astaire
panache, as it debonairly dresses
the trees in white, while slickening
the pavement towards
tuxedo black. Blah, blah, blah,
people do go on about whatever
it is they think they know. Bruno
was my motherís maiden name—
a brood of Italians from Sicily
settling in a small, sea-side,
Rhode Island town,
near the prosperous,
budding, rubber factory.
That factoryís been converted
into high-brow, assisted living now—
with pale sconces in the hall
and a recreation
room—a place we almost,
but never did,
send my grandmother to.
Beached-whale, barracuda
sunrise: the world vacillates
between environmental
documentary and James Bond
thriller, but the clouds burst
and explode between genres;
some evenings, splitting the sky
into lavender, melon
and a wintry vanilla.



Copyright © 2010 Alexandra van de Kamp All rights reserved
from The National Poetry Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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