1,151 Readings | 4 Ratings

Inauguration Day

The music says Simple Gifts are hidden somewhere in the middle.
And that they’ll arrive. It says the President himself is turning around in his chair to listen to variations upon variations upon…
And the man playing the cello, like the man playing the violin,
like the woman at the piano, and the man playing the clarinet —
They are going to get there, to the familiar melody.
And when it arrives, you will say There it is. I thought it was
that song.
And then the song will be
finished. And after: the President will speak.
And after that: the poet will read her poem.
She calls it Praise-Song.
And all along you will be forgiven for thinking these are all just variations upon
Simple Gifts. And didn’t
John Williams do the score for Close Encounters of the Third Kind?
And wasn’t Truffaut in that film? And didn’t Yo Yo Ma play cello
for the fake president on The West Wing
and did he play along with a tape recording then, too, as he does now…

And when the man in $7000 shirt woven from threads they call
bullet-resistant because there’s no such thing as bullet-proof
says These things are old. These things are true
didn’t those words spin out, dissolved and dissolved,
until they turned to a fine mist
and the day was already quite cold.

Posted 06/19/09
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