Poem : “Leaving Day”

LEAVING DAY

I’m reading a new book of poems by Ruth Valentine
while behind me, though the open window,
wide open because of the heat,
the head of the local comp across the street
hands out prizes for Art, Drama & Design
and the students applaud enthusiastically,
with the occasional whoop and holler,
the sound underscored by the low, spaced
sounds of Morton Feldman’s ‘Two Pianos’
on the stereo.

The poems are fine and spare,
controlled in their sense of loss and pain.
The applause rises to a crescendo.
This music, reads the sleeve note,
is intended to be quiet and is best played
at a low volume

A small group of the students is singing,
sad, perhaps, or happy to be on the point of leaving;
and overhead young swifts dart and sway,
performing parabolas in the heavy air,
testing their wings for what lies ahead.

Wednesday, 21st July, 2021 2.27pm

Author: John Harvey

Writer.

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