Hum by Julie Ascarrunz

1st place winner of the Streetlight 2015 Poetry Contest.



Out of the blue,
he gave her a recording.
She thought there was something
wrong with it, but they had only
slept together once,
she wasn’t even divorced
yet: she didn’t know how
these things worked.

Do you tell someone there is something wrong
with what they’ve given you?
She didn’t know Glenn Gould
how he hummed
what was in his head as he played.

Maybe the recording
wasn’t very good or
she was not listening
well. She couldn’t really tell
much but that there was something else
behind the Bach. Like yesterday.
mist swept across the lake and
she thought she saw a swan
but then it wasn’t there.

Or last week at the park party,
the creek in a torrent,
memories of September’s
flood. There was a cake
with a violin on it,
a rice-paper page of Partita II,
the two halves

of her son’s family smiling
and speaking
in the shelter. Stepmother not
aggrieved, the graduates flirting,
making pirouettes

and postures. Like in Breughel,
Icarus unnoticed: a little girl had been washed
from an overturned
truck up the mountain,
had passed them,
drowning down the river.

There were sirens
but she had not known why.

Julie Ascarrunz
Julie Ascarrunz lives in Lafayette, Colorado and teaches English as a Second Language, Language Arts, and Newspaper at Centaurus High School. She has MAs in Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity and Creative Writing from The University of Colorado. She is currently in the MFA program at NYU. She is a member of The Gamuts, a longstanding workshop group in East Boulder County and sings with The Colorado Repertory Singers, a community chorus. She lives with three cats, two dogs, and the ghost of a box turtle named Galapago. Julie has work published or forthcoming in Main Street Rag, niche, aaduna, Calliope, and Camroc Press Review.

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