New York City skyline at night

Poetry



Fall 2007

 

 


Emily Grosholz


The Last of the Courtyard

Who will believe me later, when I say
We lived in a state of music? Passing birds
And mice met on the roof, and danced away.

Françcois played his silver flute, and Guy
His violin; the children sang in words.
Who will believe me later, when I say

We lived on little else from day to day?
Life in the courtyard was its own reward.
Mice danced across the roof, and ran away.

Carpenter, painter, potter: poverty
Is the sole good a singing man affords.
Who will believe me later, when I say

We lose the things for which we cannot pay.
Our houses were sold out, over our heads.
Even the dancing mice must go away,

Nothing remains of us but memory,
A fleeting minor air, absently heard.
Who will believe me later, when I say
The mice danced on the roof, and ran away?

(Reprinted with permission of the author from The River Painter, University of Illinois Press, 1984.)

 

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