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A Music Box and Memories


On a cobblestone street,
cracked and ill-repaired, 
I rifle antique shops 
  for a jeweled music box 
     to cradle my empty locket. 
I wish to drop it 
     in a velvet corner 
       one tear at a time. 
If I find an heirloom 
with a bittersweet story, 
      its own tragic history, 
my sorrow may lighten 
     within the confines     of its space. 

If I were rich, I would live 
            curled up 
on the satin lining of a music box
   coupled with my locket,
and with every tender lift of its lid,
              I would rise in graceful dance. 

My restless nights shall one day sleep 
                               in rhythmic breath. 
My flailing heart shall tether 
                                      itself to heaven.

I found a music box today,
but alas, it would not play.
Without the song, 
the story       dies. 
Perhaps, today’s fruitless search 
will guide me to my hope, my treasure. 

If I were rich, I would live
in a Viennese music box, 
 a timeless ballerina twirling 
          for you alone, my love.
 
At a local pub, I sit alone 
                        in a corner
sipping seltzer and trying to ignore
your husky voice rising 
from a half-empty glass. 
Festive bubbles burst, 
     sounding off before 
               the tap tap tap 
                     of the conductor's baton. 

 I close my eyes to find you laughing
     as you sing and dance in the corners of my mind. 

You are the part of me set free.
     I am frozen in hushed memories. 
I twirl my hair to distract me from all
     the darkness I see, fingers determined
                                    to soothe my daydreams.
My spirit has weakened 
 between
fake smiles and faded time. 
I pry thoughts from a swirling head, 
   quench my angst, 
     ignore faces of strangers. 
It’s easier to whitewash 
the world in my despair, 
than to see its     colors. 
I wear my grief like a turtleneck sweater. 
I let it keep me warm when 
        winter lingers to bullet
                     spring with sleet.

When did I fall into a dark corner?

I tripped on a crack 
in the cobblestone today,
skinned my knee, looked up to see 
you smiling down at me. 

If I were rich, I'd fly to Vienna, 
      live in a ballet slipper 
        at Konzerthaus forever. 
 
I hear your voice, 
it's smashing glass,
    a cacophony of howls, 
metal on metal, 
    a melodic chaos 
of heroics and blood. 
It fills my corners.
I wonder -
did you scream
in your last moments or 
slip beneath the drop cloth 
you carefully lay
with less than a thud? 
In a hush 
   of onlookers, do-gooders,
      did your eyes widen or fall? 
If only 
      I could live in the corner 
         of a jeweled music box,
a ballerina dancing for you,  
   the world might spin in a hush.
                      If only I were rich,
                            I would escape.    



Written 11/14/15, 
revised 3/19/17 for In the Corner Contest


Copyright © | Year Posted 2015




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Date: 3/31/2017 2:29:00 PM
! 7 ! Rhonda. : ) So many great lines; I was choked up but smiling and laughing too.
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Date: 3/30/2017 2:53:00 AM
'To cradle an empty locket', what a metaphor...
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Date: 3/30/2017 2:52:00 AM
Those words are sooo beautiful. Hans Christian Andersen and Rhonda. This poem is with reading over and over again. Congratulations, Kai
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Date: 3/28/2017 6:15:00 PM
Sweet Rhonda!! Congratulations!! What a marvelous poem...loved the personification!! What song would it play if it could? "The Viennese Waltz" perhaps? Mine would play two songs: "I'll Be Seeing You" and "Always"...:) biggest hugggs and love! deb
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Date: 3/28/2017 6:07:00 PM
Great Write Congrats on your win !!
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Date: 3/28/2017 2:11:00 PM
So many good lines Rhonda, "without the song the story dies", a well deserved pat on the back, congratulations...
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Date: 3/28/2017 7:37:00 AM
Great poem very descriptive congrats on your win!
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Date: 11/17/2015 8:14:00 AM
Rhonda, I absolutely love this gem of yours. Congratulations on your win as well :) hugs Wilma
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Date: 11/17/2015 6:34:00 AM
:-) I've missed your poetry, Rhonda. You are one of the poets here who write with such grace, really admire your guys. Congrats and hugs!
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Date: 11/17/2015 4:36:00 AM
Very wonderful Rhonda.. congrats on top place win!
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Date: 11/16/2015 12:20:00 AM
Rhonda, congrats... SKAT
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Date: 11/16/2015 12:01:00 AM
Stunning take on the competition and a mesmerisng poem. Loved it, and congratulations.
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Rhonda Johnson-Saunders
Date: 11/16/2015 12:13:00 AM
Thank you, Mark, for stopping by with your congrats and kind words. I'm glad you liked my poem...hugs, Rhonda
Date: 11/15/2015 8:54:00 PM
What a cool interpretation of the contest. Congratulations on your win!
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Rhonda Johnson-Saunders
Date: 11/16/2015 12:11:00 AM
Thank you, Richard! I'm happy you liked my poem...it feels good to be back and writing again. :)) Hugs, Rhonda
Date: 11/15/2015 8:12:00 PM
Congratulations on your win! Hugs Eve
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Rhonda Johnson-Saunders
Date: 11/16/2015 12:10:00 AM
Thank you, Eve! Sending a hug back to you, Rhonda
Date: 11/15/2015 1:03:00 PM
Absolutely beautiful Rhonda so glad to see you back here and straight to winning ways - congrats:-) hugs jan xx
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Rhonda Johnson-Saunders
Date: 11/16/2015 12:07:00 AM
Thank you, Jan, for the congrats and for being the first to welcome me back...you are the sweetest!
Date: 11/14/2015 8:38:00 PM
Rhonda, this is the first of your poetry that I've read, but I want to read more. This is one of the most beautiful pieces I've read. Lines like these..."It’s easier to whitewash the world in my despair, then see its colors... " make this one special to me. I will save it and offer you a 7.
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Rhonda Johnson-Saunders
Date: 11/16/2015 12:07:00 AM
Thanks again, Lin!