Skip to main content

A poem from Jo Barbara Taylor

Concert at 2 A.M.
by Jo Barbara Taylor

In the deep of night, no moon, no streetlight,
I hear thunder drumming, drumming
far to the west as the percussionist
tunes the tension of the tympani
behind a black velvet curtain.

The drape spreads and the pianist's arpeggio
splashes like raindrops. The storm snares
on a skylight washed in lightning and drowned
in the pounding of drums, a string bass,
the deep-caverned tuba, the moan of a trombone
punctured by staccato yips of a cornet.

The storm moves east as night moves west.
Morning is rinsed in deep grays of wet concrete
and rain clouds. The music fades as the orchestra
sets up on a distant stage. I listen
for the dissonance of tuning up,
         the thrill of the overture,
                  the assurance of harmony.

Bio: Jo Barbara Taylor lives outside of Raleigh, North Carolina, grew up in Indiana, and remains an Indiana farm girl at heart. She taught English in public school for 21 years. Her poems and academic writing have appeared in journals, Including Tipton Poetry Journal and Inwood Indiana, magazines and anthologies. She leads poetry workshops for the North Carolina Poetry Society and OLLI through Duke Continuing Education. She has published four chapbooks, the most recent, High Ground by Main Street Rag, 2013.