For the Standard Bearer – Charles Leggett

Let her go, let her go, God bless her.—“St. James Infirmary Blues”

Is striding through un-swept November leaves

Like striding down the hallowed, hellish halls
Remembered of “St. James Infirmary”?

Leaves lose their crispness in the rains. Do these
Empty cherry blossom limbs recall,
Swaying above un-swept November leaves,

Lineaments as lustrous and as idly
Complete as lines in Armstrong’s arsenal
Recorded on “St. James Infirmary”?

Six bars and then the turnaround, or these
Six months? And won’t this deep and rigid pall
Far above un-swept November leaves

Move on, or else as much give leave to see,
Or spirit modal clouds and climb withal
Through hierarchies of infirmary

And into heaven; falter thus; then ease
With Calloway, with Garland, into brush-fall
As sweeps our way what hard Novembers leave
In St. James Church and in our memories?


About the Author: Charles Leggett is a professional actor based in Seattle, WA. Recent publications include CONSĪS, SCARLET LEAF REVIEW (Toronto, Canada), FRIGG MAGAZINE, GRAZE MAGAZINE, LATCHKEY TALES and FORM QUARTERLY. Others include THE LYRIC, MEASURE: A REVIEW OF FORMAL POETRY, SOUTHWORD JOURNAL (Munster Literature Centre, Cork City, Ireland) and PUNCHNEL’S; his long poem “Premature Tombeau for John Ashbery” was an e-chapbook in the Barnwood Press “Great Find” series.

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