Sunday, August 06, 2017

Leave Your Songs At The Door

[for Anna Akhmatova and the others]

leave your songs at the door
some guard or other should have roared
at the prison doors, the in extremis gulags

where the hair was shorn, the clothing grey dispensing
with all colours anyway in everything sorrow trans sorrow
two sizes too large the shoes without shoelaces.

something distracted them, say,

an angel or two
sent by God and Grace itself lingered
so that the poets kept something

a something indefinable stowed away
according to the rules for such transits
perhaps recurring dreams of lilac

unchecked, certain musical passages, regrets,
the tracks of beauty in the hard snows
 a waxen pair

of wings or, who knows,
the memory of Orpheus looking back.

mary angela douglas 6 august 2017