Today's poem is by Monica Berlin
Down the hall the accordion man turns into a door
he thought would open out into a corridor. He is empty-handed.
So, when I explain to my son, wiggling in the waiting room,
how this stranger plays an instrument that most resembles one
of those stretch city buses, it sounds like a story that could be
any story. This one is true; they all are. The same day; my friend
sets a small fire in the house she's renting from you, can't recall
baking soda or powder, breaks the fan she plugs in to clear the air,
but, more unbelievable, in that waiting room when I said, You were born here,
my son's still considering how a man lost in a building where everything is lost
could be in a band harmonizing with another man who plays spoons carried
in a flute case. The pause before he murmurs I don't want to be born says it is too late
for these things now Too late. The house down the block smoky; the fabric soaking
up the smell of everything that ends and will end, some time and so, and so on.
Copyright © 2012 Monica Berlin All rights reserved
from The Southeast Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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