“Going Home”

for Toniqua Harden, playing the largo from The New World Symphony

I don’t hear it so much anymore,
not until Carol’s iPod, set at random,
returns to it, never often enough, too often.

Years gone, I used to let it dream me
back to an afternoon’s visit to Spillville,
peaceful Iowa town that could be
anywhere peaceful and verdant,
where I like to imagine Dvorak first writing,
tentatively remembering and tapping
the lovely old tune at his piano keys
until the notes had become most of him,

and they both became parts of the New World,
and the new world that never was
until we need to visit it again through tears
and guiding pain—Like the tears we tried
to see through when that quietest part
of the symphony was played,
too often and never often enough after
our black September morn.

I think, hearing a young woman
just learning to play piano,
letting the tune lure her to a second of home
in a moment of new world,
his song might be our own new anthem,
the new quiet anthem from,
not for, our blood soaked old worlds—
myriad worlds of careless conquest,
horse and warrior bleeding the plains
of their grains of dancing children,
nature we bear in the rigid bone—

Some music we all need now
that no one can march to.

Richard Fenton Sederstrom was raised and lives in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and the North Woods of Minnesota. Sederstrom is the author of seven books of poetry, his newest book, Icarus Rising, Misadventures in Ascension, published by Jackpine Writers' Bloc, was released last winter. Read other articles by Richard Fenton.