The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Tuesday and Summer Flowers


After Hours
By Howard Altmann

We were searching for
ourselves, after logic
for no good reason,
jumping fires to take
the heat for walking,
wishing the blue night
not to fall into the blue
sky and darken what
remained. We were
holding on to music,
playing the solemn
string the healing horn,
rolling back the meadow
to give innocence one
more tumble, waiting
for the breeze to send
the screen door slamming
open. We were rushing
with the sea of people
tiding over curb and
sidewalk, twilight running
out of light, a city pacing
its expansion into the sky,
block by block, new
views burying the old,
thinking not thinking
about the dead. We were
who we never thought
we’d be, at the corner
of expectation and desire,
the world kind and un-
kind, the rabbits scared
the palace in ruins,
language failing the earth
in transition, the infinite
sky divided the clouds
dispersing premonitions.
Come evening come
shade, float us to your
constellation, let the void
draw us still; the radiologist
turn off her light and go.

--------

"I wrote this poem during a time when I understood that my uncle was dying," Altmann told After HoursPoem-a-Day</a> in a column that weirdly enough ran this morning. "Whether that compressed the fractious into something whole, or solidified the fragility of things, it was breath to the word, hope in the foregone."

Another quickie since I had a lot of chores to do on Monday, plus a Shutterfly calendar to finish while my coupon was still good, plus photos to scan, print, and pick up at CVS to bring to my mother's when we went to sit shiva for her brother at her house in the evening, with about 30 of her friends plus a local friend of my uncle's and my friend Linda whom I've known since elementary school.

Cantor Manevich from Washington Hebrew did the brief service and my mother read some of the memories that Uncle Larry's friends posted on Facebook and mailed to her. It was nice seeing some of the longtime friends of the family, though obviously sad for the reason for the gathering. Jews don't usually send flowers, but here are some Lewis Ginter summer blossoms:

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