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Susan Plett

Honorable Mention : 2014 Utmost Christian Poetry Contest $100

About this Poet:
Susan Plett writes poetry and prose from the home she shares with her beloved family in Calgary, Alberta. Writing continues to be a “shortcut to home” in the midst of the challenges of living in this fallen world.

About this Poem:
Many thanks to Malcolm Guite (www.malcolmguite.com), first for writing the line “Begin the song exactly where you are” and next for giving me permission to use it. I challenged myself to write a rhymed, metrical terza rima in response to his series of nine terza rima entitled “On Reading the Commedia” and this poem is the result. (Places where the rhyme and meter break down are intentional, in response to what is going on in the poem at the time.)

Begin the Song Exactly Where You Are
                  after Malcolm Guite

Begin the song exactly where you are
beside the bed your nightmare pulls you from
breath-catch, blood-beat tympanic in your ear.

Close your eyes. Stand straight and spread your arms
now out, now in, in tempo with your breath.
Play a ghost accordion in the dark.

Let sound-swell rise and loose your strictured chest.
Hands that move toward you shift, become
your father's, groping, blunt, recalled from death

and you become the instrument,
the song now harsh, discordant, minor key
as terror robs your lungs of air once more.

Inhale. Exhale. And as you fight to breathe
another Father's rhythm strengthens yours
suspended breath ascends to major key -

the Saviour plays, accordion in the dark.

Copyright ©2014 Susan Plett