Madeleine French

Diving Board Vibrato

That varnished plank
was just for our finale—
Our main stage the pool deck
where our feet sometimes
missed a beat on the burning concrete
We’d swivel our hips, circle our arms
our soundtrack some old songs
no one knew any more
We sang about Washington, D.C.
Where they play the sweetest ragtime melodies

Being last was best
watching the others leap
waiting my turn, drawing out the final note,
then a deep gulp of the air
that held me after I jumped
clutching whatever lyric stayed with me
This is the wish I would choose
And the board’s reverberation
rising underwater like bubbles
……….when I opened my eyes


For Joe, When the Rockets Launch

he might be
holding a grandson’s hand
in a shaft of moonlight
at nine thirty
or standing alone on his dock
in a tangerine dawn
at six forty-five
he’ll never miss a launch
each flaming arc
across the horizon
carries a dream
he stashed
in the payload
they wave goodbye
in one last bright blaze
flashing gold
in his moss-green eyes

© Madeleine French

Madeleine French lives in Florida and Virginia. Her work appears or is forthcoming in The Madrigal, Quartet, Black Fork Review, Poetica Review, Paddler Press, West Trade Review, Schuylkill Valley Journal, and elsewhere. You may find her on Twitter, @maddiethinks.

Back to Main Loch Raven Review Site