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The Rumor, a poem by Jennifer Lemming

The Rumor
by Jennifer Lemming

                 For Ezra Pound and his Cantos

He took the murmur and
ramblings that he overheard,
and with his wistful and precise exclusion
left only a trail reduced to the faint wisp
of a rose petal on the wind
or the bitter, spicy perfume
of the chrysanthemum blossom,
trying to distract himself from the echoes
of the ghosts of gladiators marching
in the crowd at the train station.

Pound was alone in Rome
with the Lovesick Blues,
wearing blue suede shoes,
walking and waiting along the Tiber River,
waiting for his personal Caesar.
He paused along the boulevard
of not yet broken dreams.

Wanting something he may not
be able to have, falling back again
on his poetry, his lover-words. Already
at the end of his long walk
the decision stay in Rome

where Pound thought to follow the shadow of Caesar
until he lost himself in rumor.

Bio: Jennifer Lemming lived in Indianapolis for 14 years during which she won first place in the Dancing Poetry Contest in 2004, thirrd place in 2007. In 2011 she was a finalist for the Poems for Mr. Lincoln contest, sponsored by Brick Street Poetry. Her poems and short fiction have appeared in News Verse News, Tall Grass Anthologies, Rufous Press, Earth’s Daughters, as well as other online and print journals. She was a participant in the Poetry in Free Motion project that matched quilters and poets for collaborative exhibits. Her chapbook, “The Clever Level,” was published by Celestial Panther Press in 2012. She now lives in Bismarck, North Dakota.