March 27, 2018

Stephen Gibson

AFTER MOZART’S LE NOZZE DI FIGARO AT THE KRAVIS IN WEST PALM BEACH

Saturday, March 24, 2018

After the opera, my two friends start to talk about the war,
drafted, neither back then a dove or hawk about the war.

Our waiter takes drink orders—one wife asks for water;
then another asks that the table talk not be about the war.

One went on the last troop transport to sail to Vietnam—
flying back, he felt like an outline in chalk because of the war.

The other, in intelligence, remembers his first time in Saigon—
a half-kid swinging between his own arms on the sidewalk. War.

The waiter brings the first one’s martini—olives not on the side—
this time the five of us watch him balk—there won’t be war.

Over the bar, it’s the last of tonight’s Elite Eight on the four TVs—
just three of us watch a coach’s widow walk at the end of his war.

Earlier today, March for Our Lives was split-screen everywhere—
Emma Gonzalez’s long silence mocked by a chicken hawk. War.

from Poets Respond

[download audio]

__________

Stephen Gibson: “The poem is self-explanatory. March Madness. March for Our Lives. Opera.”

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