Still Water Prose Poems

Copyright @ 1989 by Arthur Garfunkel
ISBN 0-525-24795-5
Used by persmission of Author - All Rights Reserved

52

A bird brooch broke some years ago:

I was about to tell Theresa, my co-star,
my dream of the night before
of the bird with the broken beak;
she was showing me the pin she wore—
a setup for a scene
in the fresh March morning,
there in Vienna was the bird
of my dream on her lapel.
When suddenly it fell.
The last one-fourth of the bird's
black beak had chipped away.
(Bury the point of her beautiful lips.
Pinocchio's lie is foretold.)

Into our mobile sound truck now comes
the untwisting—a visitation of the
vicar of St. Paul's.
The sixth spring since Vienna has begun.
So we play John Shepherd "The Carol of the Birds."
Inside his church, ten feet away,
two dozen lads have just finished
doubling their part:
One white, white bird…"
and at the very end:
....white bi - i - ird, white bi - i - "

The second engineer has cut the final word;
the last quarter of "bird" is erased.
(How beautiful it once had been, I muse in wonder)
Suddenly thunder.
Reverberant, I turn from the console
to the vicar across the camper—
I shall not want.

LondonMarch 1985