Ann Ritter's haunting, beautiful poem calls to mind a poem by Slovenian poet Tomaz Salamun, published many years ago, about "Things," how they outlive us and take on a life of their own. Actually, I don't know if they have a life of their own, as much as they serve to speak to us in a special way... if we listen, and paradoxically, if we don't adopt a materialistic view of our world.
by Ann Ritter
New York World’s Fair, summer 1965,
was our last family vacation.
Among the bright-tinged memories
of Greek lemon-rice soup in deep bowls,
and sharp blue light seen through Danish
cut-crystal vases, from the Italians
we brought home an eight-inch
version of Michelangelo’s Pietà.
Mary and Jesus would center the flat top
of my piano bought new that fall.
The next spring, after Daddy died,
I dusted the piano’s smooth surface,
lifted the cast Pietà with care,
felt the hollow place
in the back where Mary’s knees curved
to make a lap for her dead son.
Poem, copyright Ann Ritter, all rights reserved. Image, Gutenberg.org
A native of the South Carolina Lowcountry, Ann Ritter has made her home in the Atlanta, Georgia, area for the past 33 years. She is a writer, performer and business woman, who also teaches yoga and yoga therapy. By day she makes a living from corporate writing, project management, and teaching in the Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University. By night she pursues her passions—storytelling, poetry, live theatre and dance. Ms. Ritter’s work has been published or is forthcoming in Charleston magazine; Confrontation, GSU Review (recently revamped as New South); Earth’s Daughters; THEMA: Your Reality or Mine; Georgia Journal; The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume V, and online in Poets Contest Corner, among other publications.