Saturday, April 5, 2014

Things One Finds in the Creek

I have chosen to write a cinquain a day for National Poetry Month. I have also been reading Poem Making by Myra Cohn Livingston. She talks about using the dramatic voice in poetry, as opposed to the lyrical voice or the narrative voice. Apostrophe is one form of the dramatic voice. In it the poet addresses something that cannot answer. Livingston says that this voice is best used for "wondering, asking questions, or giving a bit of advice!" So I thought I would make my cinquain for the day an apostrophe.

There is a lovely creek in my backyard, and when it rains, strange and wonderful things float downstream to be caught on the rocks that span the water. After a recent three-day deluge, we spotted what looked like a door on the far bank. Once the creek went down enough to cross over, we discovered it wasn't a door at all. It was a piano keyboard! I've been pondering that keyboard for a few weeks now. It seemed the perfect subject for my apostrophe.

Cinquain for a Broken Piano

once pounded your keys,
played "Hey, Jude" or a Bach
prelude. Maybe they crooned a melody

for one
beautiful face
too haunting to forget.
But who dismantled you and cast
your bed

of keys
into the creek
somewhere upstream to drift
down to the rocks behind my house,
leave me

to grieve
the unfinished
song, wonder what note came
next,  and why your hammered strings are

© Doraine Bennett


  1. I envy you your backyard creek, Dori. The poem is lonely, grieving that unfinished son. Did you keep the keyboard? Found art?

    1. You can come sit by my creek anytime, Linda. No we didn't keep the keyboard. It went to the dump, sadly. No room for a chunk of found art that big.