Turning on the Radio to Rachmaninoff’s 18th Variation on a Theme of Pagannini

You can’t expect, always,
to find a ten
or a presidential pardon
in a forgotten pocket.

But you might, on occasion,
turn on the radio
to find Rachmaninoff rising
one moment out of madness
into lucidity
as lovely as a butterfly
lighting on your hand.


About the Poet:  When she’s not cranking out collective young adult biographies on women and war for the Chicago Review Press, Kathryn Atwood loves to attempt the occasional poem.


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