Sunday, February 27, 2005

Church Organist

Between yesterday's glass-casting workshop and this morning, I finished Larry D. Thomas's latest collection of poetry. Earlier, I wrote that these Thomas poems had an acrid air, but the book's last section contains poems about his old West Texas family, and I found these more involving and humane. Here is the last of the series, "Church Organist."

Against a backdrop of sunset, the chollas
jut into the sky like clusters of old

rugged crosses. As she's done each rainless
evening since her retirement, she takes her place

on her porch rocker, pulls down her lower lip,
packs with a flat wooden spoon a dip

of snuff, and starts rocking. Notes of "Amazing
Grace," the last hymn she played before conceding

to the narrowing angles of arthritis,
swirl in her memories like dust

in a shaft of sunlight. She bends
her good ear to the wind,

Straining to hear, drawing every closer,
the names from the roll up yonder.

(p. 71, Where Skulls Speak Wind, Texas Review Press, Huntsville, TX, 2004.)

1 comment:

compostmoi said...

Still on Jury Duty? Or free at last? It strikes me that maybe a Jury Duty Restaurant Guide may any event, i woul dlove to read more of YOUR poems....though I do love the poet you introduced me to you read any female poets? As you can imagine, I am deep into the confessional female ones....Adrienne Rich, I admire...but so many others as well...Sharon Olds is my fave...xxev