When the Music Ends

When the Music Ends

By Barbara Daniels


Years after your death a magazine

emailed: “We want you back, Viola.”

Today, a little morning rain. You told me

before you met Dad you walked sedately

past the bank where he worked, turned

the corner, took off your shoes, and ran.

Why he married you: that blazing hair.

When I looked like an egg, no eyebrows,

no lashes, some people laughed at me.

Just last night a waitress said, “Sorry, sir,”

mistaking my tousled hair and androgynous

shirt. My streaming service wrote me:

“When your music ends, we will continue

to play music you should like.” Hair

doesn’t grow in the grave, but it should,

shouldn’t it? As you were dying, your friend

said, “You have the best hair in the building.”

Still red in your ninety-ninth year. When I die,

my atoms could leap into fingers and feet.

I might be somebody’s shining hair. It’s raining,

but softly. Mahler’s third symphony plays.


Barbara Daniels’s Rose Fever was published by WordTech Press and her chapbooks Moon Kitchen, Black Sails and Quinn & Marie by Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press. She received three Individual Artist Fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and earned an MFA in poetry at Vermont College.