(A Lorca homage for K.S.)
Three men squint in the sun
opposite a line of five pitch hats
and shoulder slung, well-oiled, Mausers.
The five, unmuzzled minotaurs, in pitch helmets
a finger squeeze away from a cup
of red Rioja, a needed break between warrants,
tidy court records, and labyrinthine files.
The three, a bard, well dressed
in a suit of lights, compelled to stand
between two strangers, frantically clad,
The hour bellows five
when the snare drum stops.
Pipe artisans of pitch, a wind ensemble
of action musicians with iron bolts
and iron breeches
and a percussionist of clay to calcite,
raise their silver-tuned instruments.
The poet stares beyond the barren terrain
to the green, fig trees
of a Cervantes Spain.
On the downbeat, the lead rings loud.
Like water, the marked men fall,
A protean heart erupts
and flares high up, a starburst
of black butterflies.
Butterflies, blocking like a Greek chorus,
I see them circle, a flutter.
India ink wings, white dotted,
fly from garden to garden
between the sun and the shade
above the hemlock and the hangman-trees
at five every afternoon.
Black butterflies, ballads of bare feet
and untied shoes.
Thomas D. Praino is a doctor by vocation and a veterinarian by profession. His short drama, a fifteen minute play, “Memorandum For Theater: Northern Italy, 25 July 1944,” was published in War Literature and the Arts, 2012. His short story, “Carmen’s Blood Song, (A Siguiriya)” inspired by the poem El Paso de la Siguiriya, by Federico Garcia Lorca, and his fairy tale, “An Ancient Fairy Tale of Ista and Her Brother Asar,” based on the Neapolitan fairy tale of Giambattista Basile, but set in the Middle East, are both self-published on Amazon Kindle.