A FEEL-GOOD POEM FOR A DREARY PANDEMIC THURSDAY IN FEBRUARY

Someone asked me to post a feel-good poem. What could feel better than a poem about playing word games with a three-year-old on July 4th, then feeding the ducks and watching them glide away from the pier when you’re out of bread?  

Enjoy!

JULY 4TH

And the three-year-old at the picnic

said she wanted to play the violin

and I said, just like Joe Venuti

and she said, you’re a Joe Venuti

and I said, you’re a Joe Venuti

and she pulled a tuft of grass and said,

here’s some Joe Venuti

and she pointed to a sparrow scratching in the dust

and said, there’s a Joe Venuti

and from a plastic bag she dumped

a bunch of Joe Venutis

and barbecue flames caressed the grilling Joe Venutis

and men threw the Joe Venuti, popping their gloves,

while women slurped the Joe Venuti and spit the seeds

and the sun played hide and seek in dissipating Joe Venutis

and through poplar branches Joe Venuti shadows danced

across the baby’s sleeping smile.

 

Later, like Marcus Aurelius

observing models of human behavior,

we watched the ducks glide away

after the bread was gone.

 

Marc Jampole

Published in Oxford Magazine, Volume 5, # 2 and Music from Words (Bellday Books, 2007); reprinted in Poetry in Performance #46 ((May 2018)

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