Elegy for Chilhowee Park, Knoxville, Tennessee

In old photographs they stroll
in Sunday finery on summer afternoons
before the Wars like ghosts
in their Victorian summer whites
on dirt paths that curve between
boathouse and mineral spring.
Sometimes they float in wooden canoes
on Lake Ottosee or gather
in front of the cupolaed stone
to hear violin and German bassoon.
That time-shrunken structure
is the only trace of your old allure,
the lake’s algaed depths stirred now
only by ducks and migrating geese,
as placid and timeless as the first leaves
of autumn drifting like silent notes
across the bandstand’s marble floor—
a people, a place, a world no more.

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About judy loest

writer, reader, artist, walker, Tai Chi-er with a passion for literature, libraries, reader- as opposed to shopper-bookstores, cats, cemeteries, film (esp foreign, esp French), nature, organic food, and old things, esp ephemera (photos, postcards, letters), buttons, lace, esp old things made in France...does that make me a Frantiquarian?
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One Response to Elegy for Chilhowee Park, Knoxville, Tennessee

  1. Linda Marion says:

    Oh, the last two lines, the before-and-after shots of the bandstand, the lovely off-rhymes and images capturing that time before the world’s descent into modern war. I propose a new poetry collection! writing from these old photos of Knoxville! there’s no one better to do it! to fill the pages with such heart and longing! would you? oh, would you?

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