Anne Pitkin

A fine summer!  The season’s high notes—
fireflies, laughter, an ice cream calliope’s high notes.

We learned to play jazz!  Trumpet, piano and
arrhythmic bass undermining the high notes.

Under the lurchng bass,  drums pumped a steady beat, 
protected the trumpet’s acrobatic high notes.

The pond’s golden surface supported the weightless
dragonfly whirring and darting like a flute’s high notes.

Florence Foster Jenkins fearlessly performed
at the Met, mincing her arias, especially the high notes.

Isn’t it rich, when the soprano hurls flowers
into the audience after the final high note.

Never mind she’s missed.  She sends her pianist out
to gather them back for the next round of high notes.

Think how, in the old days, you could hear cicadas
sawing gritty fiddles under crickets’ high notes.

Today, it’s sirens’  tuneless whine, the chirp
of a car alarm’s addled high notes.

Florence Foster Jenkins, long dead, no longer sings
to a bewitched audience her inimitable high notes.

Get serious, Anne!  Or don’t.  Behold the sky’s black
gong scattering stars’ ravishing high notes.


ANNE PITKIN's work has appeared in Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Rattle, Alaska Quarterly Review and many others. Her full length collections are YELLOW, Arrowood Books 1989, and WINTER ARGUMENTS, Ahadada Books 2011. She is an editor Emerita of Fine Madness, a poetry magazine based in Seattle.