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George Drosdowich

The Color He Left Jerusalem
for Elliot

A fire lamp of pink glass filled the room. 

Two girls, skin pale as sherry, hadn’t seen 

Even a silver penny all day, no 

Less had they ever beheld a king.

The spies cling to the rafters, the rodents 

Too frightened to eat. But here he tastes

An unaccustomed softness and grace.

The waif lights a candle and draws him back, 

Through time’s winnowing draperies. He feels 

A milkmaid’s hands carve rivulets the moon 

Might make from waves washed back in the flood. 

He remembers the smell of lemon balm 

At dawn, the last charge, the sound of sand 

Pouring over the eyes of the dead, 

And still, his lips sting of a woman’s tears, 

Who led seven black camels past the pyres 

Of all the men she had ever loved.

When last he saw the Queen, her head was haloed 

In the sun; her golden hair, her three-strand 

Braid unraveled and reaching back for him. 

Had it been uncertainty, distaste or 

Indifference in her eyes? He couldn’t know.

Tonight, beside the Dordogne, he drinks wine 

At last under familiar stars, stars scented 

With aloes wood and splashed with lion’s blood.

George Drosdowich writes that he has “been writing since the 8th grade, always as an enjoyable hobby. Now that I am a grandfather and retired, I have come to appreciate freedom where I once only saw restrictions. The same is true of verse. Finding out who we are is a never ending and fascinating journey, though there have been times when I was so terribly bored with my own name, I changed it (in my own mind at least) to “L5”.  I retain a fondness for that ventilation pipe on NJ RTE 23 and remain married to “B9”. I thank the Editors for entertaining my fantasy and give any credit to my teachers and benefactors over the years. To loosely paraphrase Emerson, one writes best when one casts off society’s fashions and expresses their own peculiar truth.” His poetry has appeared in The Seneca Review, The Yonkers Herald Statesman, and Nine Mile. 

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