The Violin Teacher
by Carol V. Davis
dancing girl press, 2005
Exquisite and rich, these poems explore music from multiple vantage points, teacher and student, creator and lover.
Carol V Davis' poems have won awards and appeared in journals and anthologies in many countries, including Ireland, Israel, Australia and Sweden. Her poetry has been featured on NPR and on Radio Russia. She is the author of two books of poetry: Letters From Prague (1991, Chicago) and It's Time to Talk About (St. Petersburg, Russia, 1997, bilingual edition). A Fulbright scholar in St. Petersburg in 1996 and 2005, she teaches at Santa Monica College, CA.
Concerto No. 2
Looking for a blank tape, I find instead the
voice of my mother, dead now almost four years.
Her message cheerful, offering to lend, to help.
How ironic this silly call frozen.
But I could listen forever, until the tape
We went to a concert once, dressed in purple
satin and raw silk, the color of fresh cream.
Rostropovich swayed and frowned into his cello,
the notes swelling through him, as if he would
soon open his mouth and let the souls
of the unclaimed fly out.
A man next to us bared his chest,
scars like railroad tracks down his ribs.
Proud to survive, eager to show the pieces
of his heart, new and shiny. The click and whoosh
of matched parts. Embarrassed, I turned away,
while my mother watched, greedy for knowledge.
What kind of legacy is left?
Notes in a largo waiting for a strong arm
to pull it through, a concerto too personal
to play, an audience scrubbed and polished
waiting for a soloist.