General Poetry posted June 22, 2022

This work has reached the exceptional level
A plucked string trembles

Listening for the Grace Note

by Theodore McDowell

Next to a campfire on Seaside Beach,
her fingers strummed the blues
on an acoustic guitar,
Joni Mitchell poured out of her mouth.
A circle of semi-dark faces
listened for embellished grace notes
stunning as a white seagull diving and rising
with a bright fish dangling from a yellow bill.
That night, did I fall in love with soulful lyrics
or her naked shoulder stroked by firelight?
In bed, the headboard moaned
the rhythm of the twelve-bar blues.

She said goodbye in the morning
with the scent of perfume
on her pillow. I sipped coffee on the patio.
A gull’s wings glanced over the top of a cresting wave.
Years later, I stroll the same beach, humming the blues,
moonlight pale as her naked shoulder.
Within an eternal hush, a plucked string
trembles toward stars.



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