Wednesday Poem: Stenographer

Kathleen A. Wakefield: While Taking a Nap, the Invisible Stenographer Dreams She Can Play With the Violin

Cithern, lyre, lute, viola d’amore—
all her life she’s dreamt of playing
something she can stroke
and pluck, pass her hand over like a god.

She lifts her bow in the empty hall,
dark but for the circle of light she stands in.
How easily the notes spiral out, as if drawn from her throat,
then descend in a near ruinous scale, quiver
and soar until she’s lifted out of herself, out of this world
without a word.

She’s learned this piece by heart.
Now she invents as she goes, swaying
at the knees, glissando,

She wonders if there’s someone in the darkness
listening to the jazz riff she’s arrived at,
sweet licks of sound, hot, sexy,
a little sad, the voice
she didn’t know she had.

from Rattle #37, Summer 2012

Kathleen A. Wakefield: “The Invisible Stenographer is a persona that found me a few years ago. Some people say poetry can’t change a life, but I beg to differ. She (the Gregg shorthand gal) kept me going at a time when my life was horrible. She was fun to write about, crazy, sometimes terribly sad. I’m giving her an awful lot of credit and it sounds ridiculous, I know …” (web)