John Pierpont Morgan at the piano
Each note sounds like a hundred notes,
swaggering and dwindling and dying
all at once.
He likes to stir them up;
to test them with his fingers.
A chord will hollow itself out,
just like a heart.
Outside, the trees are bucking and wheedling
in the wind. His house is foundering.
The room is losing itself in shadow.
Is his wife coming back?
He wears a buttonhole.
His children, he knows, are all
barbarians. He frots the keys
but, still, the music is a river.
Where is it taking him?
Balding, fiercely mottled,
he appears to embrace the piano
in the crumbling light.
Pat O'Malley is an unpublished poet.