music singing to itself...

Frank Stanford

Hidden Water

A girl was in a wheelchair on her porch
And wasps were swarming in the cornice

She had just washed her hair
When she took it down she combed it

She could see
Just like I could

The one star under the rafter
Quivering like a knife in the creek

She was thin
And she made me think

Of music singing to itself
Like someone putting a dulcimer in a case

And walking off with a stranger
To lie down and drink in the dark


Some writers have the gift of the devastating image, of lines that the reader can’t escape. Stanford was one of them.

The ending of “Hidden Water” is powerful – a simile that is effective, reminding me of James Wright’s way with image and line.


Collin said...

I love it.

poet with a day job said...

a literal "putting away of music" - the saddest sounding one, I might add - to make a different kind of music. I am especially smitten with the line "wasps swarming in the cornice." Just the sound of it...ugh!

sam of the ten thousand things said...

Thanks for reading, Collin & Melissa. I know what you mean about line 2, M.

SarahJane said...

really enjoyed this.
more than most wright, actually.

sam of the ten thousand things said...

I appreciate your reading this, Sarah. And congratulations to you for your poem - best in Boxcar Poetry Review. "Hive" got my vote.

SarahJane said...

well, thank you!