Half Drunk Muse Poetry


A Week Before You Die, You are Singing by Erin Elizabeth Smith

I didn't know how to take care of you.

Two months in Europe,
and the singleness of your hand, 
				limp in my own
is all I have learned.

The local wine has left me pink 
		with memory, 

left me with nothing
but a bathtub, gone grey,

and a vision of you, 
		at the 22 

Singing, like a kettle.

Singing, like a gull 
		rapping a window with its wings.

Singing, like a sky 
		shawled in the last autumn cloud.

You, in the lee of September,
singing Alouette.  

					And I was sitting,
looking at you, 
your fingers strung together like ribs 
of a gamebird
being split into two.

You, singing, 
and it's like Chattanooga in the summertime 
when the lights turn into a city of spires.

You singing, and we are almost home,
Tennessee like a sneeze that won't form.

You are singing, and I am counting 
krona for a tip.  

Alouette, gentille Alouette.
Alouette, you sing.  Je te plumerai.

View bio for Erin Elizabeth Smith Published in Spring and Summer 2005

About HDM

Half Drunk Muse was one of the first poetry ezines. It was founded in 1999 and ceased publication in 2006.

Questions/comments? Email samiller@halfdrunkmuse.com.