Favorite

Ella Fitzgerald, Good Friday and Getting Ready to Move 

Out of the forced teak forest of furniture

and out of the rain in these last wet days

in my old apartment -- these last silent days

of Pompeii, I wait for a peculiar death

to turn into life and I listen to Ella singing

her song and I let myself think it's old and tinny

If only I could be neutral, looking for a tile a day

Knowing -- since I cannot touch your knee or ear

this might be the reason for rescuing an apartment

might be why I want only random color and a chair

made to look like a six-fingered wooden animal to hold me

This is also the first time I think singing might be a cop-out:

this is her hammock, this song Ella lives; I hear it, I swing

in it, I try to have fun picking tiles, I tell a self: could be

Ella is just singing and not caring who is out there listening

O just ho-hum these tiles, don't take moving so seriously

-- Rosaly DeMaios Roffman

Rosaly DeMaios Roffman teaches myth and creative writing and is the author four books: Going to Bed Whole, Tottering Places, The Approximate Message and In the Fall of a Sparrow, a chapbook commissioned by the Pennsylvania Governors Institute for the Humanities. She directs the Squirrel Hill Poetry Workshop, and resides in Oakland and Indiana, Pa. Many writers featured in Chapter & Verse are guests of Prosody, produced by Jan Beatty and Ellen Wadey. Prosody airs every Tuesday night at 7 on independent radio, WYEP 91.3 FM.

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