Patrick O'Malley: a poem



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Pat O'Malley is an unpublished poet.