Music Between Strangers

By Stephen Sturgeon Stephen Sturgeon
A sycamore grove, and in its limbs
the orchestra played Má vlast, so I saw
boughs bouncing and tuxedo legs
swinging sap-spotted above the splayed
blades of the ground feathered black
in moss, in the sweat of the set sun,
and the players’ faces where moths roosted,
where leaf-points drew water-stripes
on brows and eyelids, their hands
that stirred in pollen like a fog, were masked
by birds’ nests and bows and flaking vines.

That you were last to climb down,
trumpet tied to your back with blue twine,
is the only thing I believe in,
and after you landed, drifting
through a stream, in a mat of orange needles,
you whistled to what light could float
through the leaves’ screen and canopy, diffuse
like tracing tissue, a scrum of benday dots,
            and not much at that,
now that more than the concert has ended,
                            my musician.

Source: Poetry (June 2014).


This poem originally appeared in the June 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

June 2014
 Stephen  Sturgeon


Stephen Sturgeon is the author of Trees of the Twentieth Century (Dark Sky Books, 2011).

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Poems by Stephen Sturgeon

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SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Music

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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