GLASS DOORKNOB

You with moist hands

And heavy eyes,

Reaching up for the glass knob

Of a mirrored door.

I was afraid it would break

In your small hand.  My

Hinged knees,

Unsteady voice, hoarseness,

Heartbeat:  struggling,

Hammering even.

Lateness of wisdom.

But you were inside,

Where no one else would—

Your own Road Not Taken.

Wherein you looked upon

A canvas bare,

And chose just right

The colors there

From a given poor, but rich

Palette of oils, grease pencils,

Watercolor, chalk.

Pastels.

Plaster of Paris,

Metallic collage,

Treasure chest

Of emerald, ruby,

And diamond:

The hardest.

Forward and away.

Little lark.

I whispered your name,

But quiet, you had walked

Beyond the threshold,

Past

Your fine reflection—

Sorrow of the world, empathy.

I choked, and,

You were already there.

THE ROLE OF TREES

Outside my window

Someone is practicing

On frozen ground

Where roots of

Trees reluctantly offer

Their thirst.  Gnarled,

Knuckles and joints

To spiked soles

And bitter air.

Bare branches feel

The sharp, violent

Thud of boot

Against leather, intense,

Regular, rhythmic kicks

Grey, ghostly figure

Tenaciously pacing, pausing,

Tripping over roots

And trying again.

Stifling hot room

Strings absorbing sweat

Litany of scales,

Passages of time.

Finely carved wood,

Curly maple, spruce,

Stolen from forests:

Lonely, forgotten trees

Sacrificing their flesh

To transform winter

Back to summer,

While their cousins

Suffer the cold.

Aging knuckles,

Calloused fingers.

Determined to redeem,

Repeating, hesitation,

Longing.

MY GRANDFATHER’S POCKET WATCH

White porcelain face

With bold, black,

Roman numerals.

Perfectly round silver

Casement,

Burnished

From cracked, calloused

Hands that loved jeweled objects

More than blonde

Curls.

At eleven

Little girls

Ride horses,

Run free in fields

Of golden grasses and

Fine herbs.

At seven they

Sprint on awkward tired legs.

Surf breaking,

Rainbows.

Revel in bright light

Azure skies.

Now beneath dusty glass,

Hands,

Ionic pillars

Frozen, silent.

Reach for twelve and ten.

Holding up, forever

In pain

Worshipping.

When

My brother fell from a carousel,

My mother finally wept,

And I climbed a purple hill

Above the mist.

Martin Agee’s career as a professional violinist has brought him to the major concert venues, recording studios, and theatres of New York City for over thirty-five years.  He performs with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra at Lincoln Center, American Composers Orchestra, and the American Symphony Orchestra, among many others. During his years as a professional musician, Martin Agee has remained active as a writer of poetry, fiction and critical essays. His work has recently been published in the U.K. by Belle Ombre, www.belleombre.org.  Website:  www.martinagee.com

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