August 2009

Hilde Weisert


Julia Alter
Kurt Brown
Alex Dimitrov This marks an author's first online publication
Gregory Lawless
Austin MacRae
Kirby Olson
Simon Perchik
Marvyn Petrucci
Dan Veach This marks an author's first online publication
Ryan Vine
Rob Walker
Hilde Weisert
Marjory Wentworth
Ross White
Michael Wynn

Haley Carrollhach This marks an author's first online publication
Mariko Nagai

David M. Katz
interviews Daniel Brown

David Rigsbee
reviews Divine Comedy: Journeys through a
Regional Geography

three new works by
John Kinsella


Hilde Weisert won the CALYX Journal's 2008 Seventh Annual Lois Cranston Memorial Prize. Her poems have appeared in such magazines as Ms., Prairie Schooner, The Sun, and Southern Poetry Review. She is a Geraldine Dodge Poet and a 2009 resident fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She is also co-founder of the Society for Veterinary Medicine and Literature, promoting the reading of poetry in the veterinary medicine curriculum.

Grandfather, Balloon    

How Deep Is the Ocean?

A balloon in a jazz room is odd, especially one
not gaily skimming the rafters but resting
like a big cartoon baby on the table, bobbing slightly
in front of an old man who sits waiting
for the first notes of a Berlin ballad
he once heard Lee Wiley sing. Tonight,
the singer is his granddaughter, and he's deaf.

But as a word "grandfather" surely holds a child, and play,
as much as age and dignity, so why shouldn't the old man
hold this red balloon, light and smiling?
When Alexis starts to sing,
he tips his head to it, lifts his fingers
so they barely graze its skin, and from then on
his smile and nodding head are right in time.

I know the song's question wasn't meant for an answer
(the rippling depths its marvel), but I think we are seeing it
in what travels from the stage to this table,
from one shore to another, from the young
singer to the grandfather holding a child's toy and hearing
the waves as they arrive on the skin of a balloon
into the skin of his hands, into a song about love.



Hilde Weisert: Poetry
Copyright ©2009 The Cortland Review Issue 44The Cortland Review