Lloyd Schwartz

June 9, 2015 Schwartz Lloyd



Who’s there? I can’t seem to make out anything or anyone. Is
anyone there? Is that you? In this dim light
that’s not light, it’s not light enough
to see who’s there. I’ve been waiting for you—asking myself when
you were going to come. Or call. I don’t like this
uncertainty, this half-light, this state of  bewilderment.
Make it stop. Make it stop before I start crying .
Now I’m shaking, shivering—I want to steady my head against
your chest. Where better to find peace? Wait! I hear your steps—the
sound of your breath, your breathing. Unmistakably yours even in the dark.
Come closer! Find your way into the room. The wind always shuts
the door, so you don’t have to. Closer! Sit down
here, near me. Tell me something. Answer me. Is the
light enough? Should I tell you to open or pull down the shades?

Lloyd Schwartz is the Frederick S. Troy Professor of English Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Boston and the poet laureate of Somerville, Massachusetts, for which he has just been awarded a 2021 Academy of American Poets Poet Laureate fellowship. His poems have been selected for the Pushcart Prize, The Best American Poetry, and The Best of the Best American Poetry. In 2019, he was awarded a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in poetry. A noted editor of the works of Elizabeth Bishop, he is also the longtime classical music critic for NPR’s Fresh Air and was the classical music editor of The Boston Phoenix, for which he was awarded the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for criticism. His latest book is Who’s on First? New and Selected Poems (University of Chicago Press).