Mayapple Press is a small literary press founded in 1978 by poet and editor Judith Kerman. We celebrate literature that is both challenging and accessible: poetry that transcends the categories of "mainstream" and "avant-garde"; women's writing; the Great Lakes/Northeastern culture; the recent immigrant experience; poetry in translation; science fiction poetry.
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The Fingernail of Luck – Conrad Hilberry

The Fingernail of Luck - Conrad Hilberry

The Fingernail of Luck – Conrad Hilberry

Poetry. Paper, perfect bound, 32 pp
$10.00 plus s&h
2005, ISBN-0-932412-33-5


Oboe
by Conrad Hilberry

Your lips move moist around
my double reed, and I feel
the sad wind rising
through your throat. Some child
of yours is lost. If I were your
psychiatrist, I’d listen,
nod, prescribe. Instead,
I take your breath, shape it, let it find
a passage down this wooden
shaft, curl out around the ankles
of the clarinet. The horns
have forged a monumental
fountain on the stage and now
the strings supply the water,
surging up, looping, falling in
great sobs. The audience is weeping,
but you and I have doubts.
We wind our fiber through
the latticework of their grand art,
hoping someone may hear
the muscled twist
of grief that’s seasoned
in a narrow tube, the hollow
music of a long-held breath.


Conrad Hilberry is the author of nine previous collections of poetry, including Player Piano, Sorting the Smoke: New and Selected Poems, and The Moon Seen as a Slice of Pineapple. He lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.