David Salner

Eroica, 2022

I love how the bows
mow over their catgut strings,

how each time they pierce the air
in unison the moaning becomes a cry

filling the hall, a draw and thrust based on
trust in the measures and the nervous dance,

the sudden stabs the conductor makes; and I’m
enthralled by the orange-brown glow of rosewood,

surprised by the throaty roar of an ocean of strings
as they rally against the heartbreaking breakdowns,

the upending ups and downs of the hard-pressed folk
of Beethoven’s time; and how fast we leap to applaud 

this music, which is now more than two centuries old! 
After an intermission for a pinot noir, a seltzer, 

or over-priced beer, we’re back in the concert hall, 
bravoing our conductor, who tells us the orchestra 

just signed a union contract after a lock-out 
lasting six months! Then Eroica resumes 

as three golden horns proclaim 
a chorus of Down with All Kings!

Of Summer Words: New and Selected Poems (Broadstone Books), William Heath said: “David Salner is the Poet Laureate of working people.” His debut novel, A Place to Hide, won first place for historical fiction from Next Generation Indie Book Awards. He’s worked as iron ore miner, steelworker, machinist, librarian, baseball usher, and in many other trades and lives in Millsboro DE with his wife, Barbara Greenway. His writing also appears in Threepenny Review, Ploughshares, North American Review, and Iowa Review.