The March Goat

by Sam Clodd

Needles prick my fingers. I distinctly

remember tattooed muscles; numbers

and Semitic features. I remember the

 

piano teacher. His smile and his wife’s

biscuits, brought once a month for my

sisters. Of course, he always stunk of

 

varnish. Yes, yes, I remember all

this now. The brown shirts and the

pounding boots like hearses. The

 

wardrobe, in the house where we spent

our summers. The smell of coats. The

high stone wall around the garden. My

 

father, no, my father wasn’t there and

my cousins and I picked flowers;

snowdrops, chrysanthemums later.

 

Maybe even I remember further back;

the stag-beetle-phoenix of Berlin. Yes,

the black, industrial fog. The taste of

 

stale bread; and the kite my brothers

made from wads of notes. I remember

that first, bright dawn of spring, after

 

the sting of glass between your

toes. The smiling faces, the

flags, the ordered rows.