Stevieslaw: New Poem in Third Wednesday

My poem, Saul and Sam, was just published by the print journal Third Wednesday.  I’m in good company Sarah Russell, Majorie Maddox Hafer and Ted Kooser also have poems in this issue.  Here is the poem:


Sam and Saul


The twins were prodigies

in math and music.

Saul played cello,

Sam the violin.

By the time they were three

experts were measuring

the elasticity of their brains

and listening

to their rendition

of Pachelbel’s Canon

with tears in their

calculating eyes.


We preferred The Stones

to Pachelbel

and treated the guys

as if they were normal.

Mostly they were,

as long as you didn’t invite

them to play poker

at stinky B’s after basketball

or try to beat them

at Scrabble or chess.


Saul sickened and died

the year they were to start

at the Institute for Advanced Study.

Our parents spoke of leukemia—

murmuring “blessedly quick,”

as if a mantra to ward off evil.

They buried him on a day in March

so raw, it was a relief

to be in the overcrowded synagogue

listening to sorrow

recited as it should be—

in the ancient language

of Torah.


After the service,

Sam sat all alone

in the bitter cold

outside their apartment building

and played his brother’s cello—

it was the most beautiful thing

I’d ever heard.

He played through the sunset.

He played until

his father gently took his hand

and helped him up

to their half-empty home.

This entry was posted in gang gang dance, poetry, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Stevieslaw: New Poem in Third Wednesday

  1. The stark personification of loss. Just beautiful, Steve.


  2. stevieslaw says:

    Thank you Sarah


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