- Postlude for Four Hands at the Great Organ, and: Granite Countertop
Postlude for Four Hands at the Great Organ
for James and Marilyn Biery
Off to the side to get a better view,I lean in, thinking, Here’s a metaphorfor married love: intimate, with a twist.Cozily on one bench and from one score,they disentangle music from the airby not quite touching. Arms and legs thread throughthe seinework of the game; the verb to playhas nuances I hadn’t seen before.
If once in a while they need the mild assistof less-than-playful terms—move left foot overscribbled in pencil at the crucial measure—still, through a long, embroidered stretch of Widorthe rose window keeps tumbling gold and blueover their almost-brushings at the wrist. [End Page 156]
for my grandfathers, Andrea and Nicola, masons in the old country
Old stone, broken to domesticity,I bend above you, slicing the dull breadof days, while you are stuff of monuments,matter of altars and memorialsand gravestones. May your heaviness forgetthis grunt work. Heave your deeper historyout of the magma’s red churn and the long,long geologic mix that broods and mullsyour varicolored sparks. Be massed, immense.
Someone once mourned them both as fore-defeated—stonecutters, poets. Here is a counter-prayer:Old stone, remembrance of my forebears’ skills,hold out. Outlast the shallow dignityof human lifetimes, with their brief pretense. [End Page 157]
maryann corbett lives in Saint Paul and spent thirty-five years working for the Minnesota Legislature. She’s the author of four books of poetry, most recently Street View. A fifth book, In Code, is due out in 2020. Her work appears in journals including the Dark Horse, Literary Matters, and Literary Imagination, and in anthologies including The Best American Poetry 2018.