Almost and The Last Supper, 2 poems by Claire Scott

Piano in foreground, Large painting of woman in background
Photo by Zhiwei Liang on Unsplash
A Steinway. A red silk dress.
The audience still, anticipating the first note
of Schubert’s B-Flat Sonata.
Anthony Tommasini ten rows back
will write
the most sensitive Schubert ever
in tomorrow’s
New York Times.
My hands hover over the keys.
I begin with lyric phrases
followed by the ominous trill.
My little brother.
Composing contrapuntal music at the age of five,
playing flawless Chopin preludes
presto con fuoco
on his gleaming grand piano.
Illustrious teachers line up to listen
tweaking their moustaches in disbelief.
Downstairs I bang
on the old second hand upright.
The red dress lies crumpled at my feet.


I tell you it was bloody hot in that kitchen
with its open fires and great pots
of bean stew steaming, unleavened bread
baking over hot coals, the pungent smell of roasting lamb
sweat dripped between my breasts, my arms exhausted
from kneading and chopping and mixing and stirring
my dress dusted in flour
they said thirteen for supper that night
an unlucky number I whispered in my sleeve
later I poured wine and passed bread
put out more olives and dates
slipping silently between men talking of betrayal
but there is no sign of me in the famous painting
sometimes I look again to be sure, maybe
I missed it on the lower left, on hands and knees
sweeping up the crumbs
no, not even there

Clair Scott
Claire Scott is an award winning poet who has received multiple Pushcart Prize nominations. Her work has been accepted by the Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, New Ohio Review, Enizagam and Healing Muse, among others. Claire is the author of Waiting to be Called and Until I Couldn’t. She is the co-author of Unfolding in Light: A Sisters’ Journey in Photography and Poetry.

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