"It's 'If a body meet a body coming through the rye'!" old Phoebe said. "It's a poem. By Robert Burns."
Holden's sister, Phoebe, knows her poetry. Even though she's still in elementary school, she corrects her brother's recollection of Burns' lines. That's pretty good for a kid younger than the car I'm currently driving.
Well, I finally finished the poem I've been working on for the past three weeks. I'm going to share it with you tonight, but I'm worried that, after this much of a build-up, any poem I post tonight is going to be a huge disappointment. But, when I finished this draft this morning, I had the feeling that I'd gotten it right after many attempts. I guess I'll leave it up to you guys to be the final judges.
This poem is based on headline from the tabloid Weekly World News. I've been writing these poems, of-and-on, for close to ten years. I have quite the little collection of them now. Maybe I'll do something with them eventually.
Tonight, Saint Marty's just glad to have a new poem to give you.
Her Biological Clock Keeps Waking Neighbors
It's the sound after lightning,
before rumble, when you count
Mississippis. One Mississippi,
two Mississippi, three Mississippi.
The sound between exhale and inhale,
when you wake in the middle
of the night, wait to hear her lungs
work in the dark, when your body
stops, listens until she suckles
air again. That time is glacial,
a white, unbroken plane to be crossed
on snowshoes, naked as birth,
chased by blue wolves. It's the sound
of swing chains on empty playgrounds,
the slap of green water in childless
swimming pools. The sound of waiting,
always waiting, for the tock,
when the heart's pendulum swings
away from tick, keeps swinging,
swinging, swinging toward
thunder, muscle, bone, breath.
Confessions of Saint Marty