Gerald Stern

Loneliness - Poem by Gerald Stern

Nothing by or for itself, the sound of
eggs hard-boiling in the hot water
echoed by the heavy rain that pours
down the broken spout, the cowardly lion's
roar answered by the moos of the buffalo
the bloody mouth of the one
by the sharp and polished horns of the other,
even Nelson Eddy
could hear someone else singing in his bathtub
the songs from his dumb movies

though when I once drove up the vertical highway
in Colorado to visit Elaine the Gnostic
and take her to the stone mountain
where her husband fell
we drove back without talking
though she touched my knee in gratitude and when
we reached the very top there were no trees
only flowers grew there
accompanied by nothing
the name of which was loneliness
which Shelley the poet himself suffered from
among his beleaguered women
you'll die remembering.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, June 29, 2017

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