I am a retired professor of French, living in New York City, painting, writing, and trying to learn Portuguese. (Language-study is my favorite form of frustration.) My most recent poetry collections are The Unknowing Muse (Dos Madres, 2014) and Wars Don’t Happen Anymore (Deerbrook Editions, 2016).
When the children of Hamelin
returned from the mountain
they weren’t the children
stolen from town
by the Piper’s tunes and rhythms—
Ariel, Raphael, Pavel,
Tina, Toby, Susan,
and my son, dark-eyed
hand in hand
with a moody girl
and the cavern door
closing behind them.
I called their Jailer,
offered him silver
and gold to free them
in any form at all.
I suppose they crawled,
tiny and brown,
through a crack
in the mountain wall,
and flew, lace-winged,
into my kitchen where
they flitter, feed on my flour,
I’ve watched them for hours.
Two Children On a Porch, With Woodbine
He lays his arm along the shoulder of his two-year-old sister.
“It doesn’t matter what you teach a boy,” said Winston Churchill,
He believes she is the child most treasured.
“… as long as he doesn’t like it.”
She thinks her brother is the favored one.
The boy stood on the burning deck
Neither, in the future, will befriend the other’s spouse, or frequent
the other’s house, until,
The pipes, the pipes are playing
orphaned and alone, they are surprised
Boys and girls together
by a picture of two children side by side
Me and Mamie O’Rourke
with long strands of woodbine all around.
-first appeared in The Lake
©2016 Sarah White