Thursday, September 5, 2013

Richard Schnap- Three Poems


He played the viola
With a sure hand
Coaxing intoxicating melodies

It was the same with women
Releasing the music
Bottled in their hearts

And when they grew tuneless
He would seek out others
Each instrument his addiction

Whose strings he’d caress
Like a true master
With a bottomless thirst


The trays came down a conveyer belt
Where I’d empty them into a trash can
The uneaten breakfasts of the sick

They seemed to be never-ending
One after another like an assembly line
Of a factory that manufactured death

And as the stone-faced supervisor watched us
We’d gather in the men’s room on breaks
Where I smoked my first cigarette

But soon I was back at my station
Wondering silently to myself
Which one might be someone’s last meal


I stood next to him in the living room
Gazing up at the great carved bird
As he said “Someday that will be yours, son”

A parting gift from the father
I’d lived in fear of all my life
In a house with the climate of winter

It wasn’t soon after his death
That I sold it with the rest of his estate
Setting it free from my memory

For its frozen outstretched wings
Spoke only of a facsimile of flight
Like the love I could only long for

Richard Schnap is a poet, songwriter and collagist living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His poems have most recently appeared locally, nationally and overseas in a variety of print and online publications.

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