Artwork © DL Polonsky


The Morning After Biden’s Inauguration…

…I sang in the shower,
sang The Star-Spangled Banner,
not my usual song.

And I sang it deep at first,
my easiest way,
because I am an alto
if not a tenor by nature,
though a mezzo if I’m in practice,
with high notes
when I’m worked in and tuned up,
as I had not been for four,
            five years.

Felt like coming home to hit
the rockets’ red glare
with full tone,
remembering to place
my voice solid in the chest
then into mixed range
so I could transition
            to those ringing notes,
            open to where I’d thought
            I’d never want to go again.

Started noticing trouble
hitting the good high notes
after three runs through.
I tried at first by force,
realized I couldn’t go back
to however it used to was,
not the very first time.

I’d have to coax my apparatus,
work my way back to where I’d been
before I could progress again,
else I would blow out my cords,
have to go silent, again. Never again.


Karen Greenbaum-Maya, retired clinical psychologist, former German major, two-time Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, and, photographer, no longer lives for Art but still thinks about it a lot. Kattywompus Press publishes her three chapbooks, Burrowing Song, Eggs Satori, and Kafka’s Cat. Kelsay Books publishes The Book of Knots and their Untying. She co-curates Fourth Sundays, a poetry series in Claremont, California.

DL Polonsky is a Boston area artist, writer, and filmmaker. His caricatures have appeared in The Boston Herald and His written work includes the children’s book The Letter Bandits from T.B.W. Books.