Across Time Part Two For Liza - Poem by Daniel Brick
I stand alone, cradling
the score against my heart.
I have written the Master's
directions in the margins.
I wait, in this narrow corridor,
sensing your presence. No one
will disturb us. Stage hands are busy
turning a bare platform in medieval
Nurnburg. There's the church where it
all begins, there's a field with a single
linden tree, there's the village square,
empty now, not even a nightwatchman nearby.
I feel a twist in space, a jolt
of time, and you are yourself,
by me, smiling, saying, 'What if
time does not matter to us, because
we don't mind it? ' The moment is happy.
I look into your face, as I open
the score. Your eyes widen as you
read the score. 'So you will be Eva
in this performance! ' I close the score,
and hand it to you. You press it next to
your heart. Sometimes our laughter is close
to tears. All afternoon we are side by side.
The nightwatchman rehearses nearby, time presses.
The auditorium already overflows.
And it is only six o'clock. It will be
Blok's first appearance in eight months.
I scan the crowd. Oh, why are you tardy?
Aristocrats, with their fine manners and
vicious opinions, are irritated by working
people occupying the front row seats. Students
are taking turns reciting poems of Blok
from the podium he will use. They look small.
A professor I knew at the University talks
about Blok, 'His poems are a fever of the heart.'
I turn around and see people streaming across
the threshold. When I turn back, you are leaning
against the wall, within inches of me. One smile
covers both faces. 'Don't worry. I don't mind
standing for Aleksandr Aleksandrovich! ' Just then,
Blok appears, appearing gaunt and tired but
determined. In the silence, his voices rises,
IN THE CALM NIGHT, A MAN IS ALONE AND LOOKS UP
INTO A FIELD OF STARS. 'STARS, STARS, ' HE CRIES.
'WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF ALL THIS GRIEF? ' AND THE STARS,
THE STARS TELL HIM EVERYTHING....
The Pilgrims' Highway,20__
The overcrowded bus tumbled down
the highway under a clear blue October
sky. I noticed a child was watching me
very intently, the way an adult looks
at something fascinating, with questions
bouncing back and forth in their head.
I turned away and tried to read my book.
I startled when the child, suddenly standing
next to my seat, was talking casually,
like a grown-up. But he was holding the thread
of a balloon of many colors, which tugged
the thread, anxious to ascend. 'Lady, ' he began.
'You look sad, so I'm giving you my balloon
which made me happy earlier today.' Surprised,
I replied, 'Oh, thank you, but I can't take
your balloon.' He replied quickly, 'You're not
taking it, I'm giving it. My grandfather told me,
When you're happy, Ivan, give a piece of that
happiness to someone else, and your share of
happiness will be lighter and you will float
freely. So, here's your balloon.' And he deftly
wrapped the thread around my left wrist. 'There,
now both of us will be happy. My grandfather always
made me happy, and told me I should share that
happiness, and it was grandmother who told him
about happiness and sharing it. So, I guess,
grandmother was the real angel, because no one
told her. She just knew.' The boy squeezed in
next to me. 'Do you believe in angels, Lady.'
I said, very seriously because he was asking me
sincerely, 'Yes, I very much believe in angels.'
He looked satisfied, and was quiet for a moment.
'Lady, just because you don't see him at this moment
doesn't mean he isn't here. Time is really big,
he might be lost in it, but he will see the balloon
when you launch it.' I was speechless. He smiled
once more, then ran back to his family, and they
got off the bus. I wanted to wave to him, but he
was talking to his younger siblings. The bus lurched on.
I reached my destination, and it seemed secondary.
I walked along a grassy lane, under a late afternoon
sun, came to a small lake lined with yellow-leafed
trees, and, after saying a prayer, released the many-colored
balloon. It leaped into the air, a breeze up there
caught it and it tumbled around, but then broke free
and rose up and up, into a flash of light that hurt
my eyes. Now the balloon was free, even of my eyes.
Now I had to trust the air, the wind, the sky...
Oh, my friend, a child has blessed us. Oh, my friend.
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