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By Anne Whitehouse

PROMPT — The way I see it ...

for John Kander

Music plays in my head,

and I listen. Sounds and rhythms,

echoes and vibrations.

This is how I move through space,

how I comprehend my world.

Long, long ago,

when I was a baby in Kansas City,

I caught tuberculosis.

In those days, there was no cure.

Isolated on a sleeping porch,

I learned to match the sounds

of approaching footsteps

with the ones who made them.

But footsteps go both ways.

A residue of loneliness

lingers after all these years.

Music is the antidote.


Anne Whitehouse is the author of poetry collections: The Surveyor’s Hand, Blessings and Curses, The Refrain, Meteor Shower, Outside from the Inside, and Steady, as well as the art chapbooks, Surrealist Muse (about Leonora Carrington), Escaping Lee Miller, Frida, and Being Ruth Asawa. She is the author of a novel, FALL LOVE. Her poem, “Lady Bird,” won the Nathan Perry DAR 2023 “Honoring American History” poetry contest. She has lectured about Longfellow and Poe at the Wadsworth Longfellow House in Portland, Maine, and Longfellow House Washington Headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Anne writes from New York City.


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