In This Room
by Victor Cataldo
(Old Tappan, NJ)
I went to check on my sleeping son, and just stared at him, lying in his bed, his whole life in front of him. I was in there for only a few minutes, but it seemed like hours. I left his room and wrote this poem.
Beware all ye who enter here!
Things are not as they appear.
You see a child at play, pretending.
But what if I told you that he was befriending
Magical ghosts we adults might fear?
Oh, tread lightly, all ye who enter here.
For in this room a soul burns bright
Who whispers to the ghost of Frank Lloyd Wright
As his pixie hands interlock plastic pieces
Into a structure that leaves Wright speechless.
The child smiles at his muse’s delight.
Yes, in this room, a soul burns bright.
And in this room sits a budding musician
Who sways to his symphony, a sprawling composition
That harkens classicists like Beethoven and Liszt
Contemporaries, too, we have not so long missed.
All of whom smile in self-recognition
At the child before them, a budding musician.
And in this room an artist will grow
From miraculous seeds sown generations ago.
His crayons color the white off of pages
To the approval of old masters and sages
(Especially his favorites, Rembrandt and Rousseau)
Yes in this room, an artist will grow.
At dawn in this room, a poet awakens
Yearning to take the road not taken.
His letters take shape on an angel’s wings
Floating breaths from Keats, Yeats and Cummings.
Neruda reminds that love is a mistake worth making.
Yes in room, a poet awakens.
In this room, as my son sleeps
I embrace a time I cannot long keep
When clatter is a symphony, a doodle a letter
When a hug and a kiss make it all better
When rivers of dreams run wild and deep
Sleep colorfully, my son, in your room fast asleep.
By Victor Cataldo
February 23, 2009