Today's poem is by Howard Altmann

The Years

Moving, forever moving
to music, he would begin
with an image of a man
moving through the snow,
a park's gates about to close,
an iron blue sky about to open
into night, a metronome
of a figure out of rhythm
with a city pressing his way
home—briefcase in tow,
notes from a day carried
across a great white lawn.
Climbing a circular staircase
he would see the man,
pausing on each landing
of the converted tower,
its century-old windows
offering views of rooftops
and snow-brushed trees,
a neighborhood settling in
for the evening, silhouettes
walking this way and that
into the dark. Only a key
turned much sound, dusting
dusted rooms, wood floors
quick to assume the weight
of things, the man's step
in tune with the furniture
that knew him, a bugle
that blew many a lifetime
past the midnight hour.
It was here, forever here
where the contours of the man
would begin to bleed,
an instrument left encased
in a silence that shaded
the last shadow of the man,
until it was he himself
who he saw moving through
the snow, dark thoughts
growing darker in the mid-
night eve, an avalanche
of silence burying the last
murmur of a city, and he
could hear the bugle's call
as if for the first time.

Copyright © 2017 Howard Altmann All rights reserved
from Southwest Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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