stanhope
I am waiting for the bagpipes…
by Sonja Johanson

… to have them played just for me
on a rainy rooftop, for the wind to flip
around, messing with the music, for it
to grab the bleating notes, to turn them
inside out and break them like a black
umbrella, to lift them up and lose them
against the flat, grey clockwork
of the waves below.
I am waiting for the piper, his fingers
on the chanter and lips pursed above
the blowpipe, drone cords stretched
across the shoulder, second-hand
sporran curling from the moisture;
who carries on with shuffling even
when the bass drone brays like
a pack-mule objecting to the work.

And I am waiting for the ferry,
all dressed in Christmas lights,
and for the captain who will ask
how many for the last boat to
the Faroe Islands, extreme north
Hebrides, and will we be wanting

a ride back in the spring? Or maybe
he will tell us to settle our affairs,
because we ought to know this is like
signing on to join the Martian colonists,
and when you board his vessel you
are saying that you only plan
to make this trip one way.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: If you are going to wait for something, for heaven’s sake, make certain it is something fabulous.

IMAGE: “Angel with Bagpipes” by John Roddam Spencer Stanhope (1829-1908).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sonja Johanson attended College of the Atlantic, in Bar Harbor, Maine, and currently serves as the Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator for the Massachusetts Master Gardener Association. She has recent work appearing in The Albatross, Off the Coast, and Out of Sequence: The Sonnets Remixed, and was a participating writer in FPR’s 2014 Oulipost Project. Sonja divides her time between work in Massachusetts and her home in the mountains of western Maine.