So one day when the azalea bush was firing
away and the Japanese maple was roaring I
came into the kitchen full of daylight and
turned on my son’s Sony sliding over the
lacquered floor in my stocking feet for it was
time to rattle the canisters and see what
sugar and barley have come to and how Bolero
sounds after all these years and if I’m loyal
still and when did I have a waist that thin?
And if my style was too nostalgic and where
were you when I was burning alive, nightingale?   

Gerald Stern, "Bolero," from Everything is Burning, published by W.W. Norton. Copyright 2005 by Gerald Stern. Reprinted by permission of the author.
Source: Everything is Burning (W. W. Norton and Company Inc., 2006)
More Poems by Gerald Stern