Collected Poems of John Holmes
Holmes, John A., Jr.
Grieving again that long since expert grief,
Chopin's quicksilver and not quite heartbreak,
The girl next door troubles my afternoon.
She is young. She fingers the Polish runs
To pass time in a flight of sixteenth-notes,
Each helping the other to hurry hours away.
I'm from a long line of small heroes, rage
Bites me, contempt and hope, and I bite back.
In my country the imperfect is always with us,
The impatient learning patience, the middle-aged
With night coming and the intended work not done.
My usual and illogical and dumb anxieties.
The body of love only may invade my dark;
That music shivers in my legs and memory.
But the piano, though not my kind of enemy,
Rides in a drill of sadness, a dance like rain,
Over and over the borders of my difference,
Raids my iron grieving, robs me and leaves me
In silver a new way of filling time with sound.