The poetry of Marianne Szlyk

January Trees

Like ghosts of grandparents from the old country
waiting outside the kitchen window,

the trees stand while you scrub
last night’s curry off heirloom plates.

The clarinet in your husband’s klezmer
twines above you like a vine

whose few leaves and red berries
remain through January.

Birds fly between branches,
past empty nests,

last summer’s twigs, threads, and paper.
Uninvited, the trees arrive early,

peering in as the sky turns the color
of their store-bought salad dressing,

not yours, not mine,
the color of the snow

that will not fall tonight.

Marianne Szlyk edits The Song Is… a blog-zine for poetry and prose inspired by music (especially jazz).  Her second chapbook, I Dream of Empathy, is available on Amazon.  Her poems have appeared in of/with, bird’s thumb, Cactifur, Solidago, Red Bird Chapbook’s Weekly Read, and Resurrection of a Sunflower, an anthology of work responding to Vincent Van Gogh’s art.  She has not flown on an airplane since November 2001.

One comment

  1. Marianne Szlyk’s word images weave feelings and sounds into a blanket that warms wintry waiting. I loved the trees being the ghosts of grandparents from the old country and the music of the clarinet twining above her like a vine. However, I have no idea what a klezmer is. My 1950s dictionary gave me no clue. Does anyone know the definition of a klezmer?


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