Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Verse: David Franks (1948 - 2010) Alice Gaines Played the Harp

Alice Gaines Played the Harp

In kindergarten Alice Gaines

Played the harp . at nap time
& for an hour at noon each day

It was as if Angels sang away
The cares of children sweetly sleeping
After graham crackers & milk . even
When the air raids sirens’ shrill alarms
Shattered dreams

Alice Gaines played the harp . even
We . the youngest children knew the drill
To close the windows against flying glass
To move under our desks & clasp
Our hands to the back of our bowed necks & pray
That the bomb was not really on its way
This time . that the Russians weren’t coming
This time . to sift through our charred remains

Alice Gaines played the harp . as
From beneath my desk I prayed:

Dear God . this is David
In Washington D.C. . remind
The Russians . my Father
Pappa . & . Bubbie are Russians . too

Dear God . this is David
I am in
The first reading group
Under my desk


For the end
Of the world

For the "duck and cover" generation.

In this link poet Andrei Codrescu remembers his friend David Franks on NPR Radio.

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