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That Pause
Judy Kronenfeld


like a delayed signal—
you can almost feel
the switches ganging on,
or something momentarily
caught, a clog,
in a drain,
before, at last, the train of memory
comes chugging through,
flags flying,
bringing magnanimous
to the station, like a candidate
on a whistle-stop tour,                   
it’s as if you’d submitted
a request for a rare cartographer’s tome
in an elegant library reading room,
and waited patiently, under
the chandeliers, by the brass
lamps, until a tiptoeing
librarian wearing
white gloves put it into
your hands—Castellammare del Golfo!—
and its syllables canter, tossing
their manes, down a cobblestone street
to a brilliantly flashing sea.

From Shimmer (WordTech, 2012).
This poem first appeared in SNReview.
Used here with permission.



Judy Kronenfeld is a retired college lecturer of English and Creative Writing who returned to her first love—writing poetry—in mid-life. Originally from the East Coast, Judy now lives with her anthropologist husband in Southern California. Her fifth book of poetry, Groaning and Singing, will be published by FutureCycle Press in early 2022. Learn more about Judy at



Post New Comment:
Sometimes, the train takes the scenic route, and doesn't arrive until hours later! What wonderful metaphors!
Posted 12/15/2020 02:59 PM
Ah, yes, that significant PAUSE, after which something really special happens! Vividly descriptive
Posted 12/14/2020 11:07 AM
I do recognize "That Pause"! Thanks for sharing your poem, I enjoyed it.
Posted 12/11/2020 04:50 PM
Thank you for your comments! judy
Posted 12/10/2020 08:50 PM
Lori Levy:
Very imaginative. Great poem
Posted 12/10/2020 07:39 PM
I think my train is more like a carrier pigeon!
Posted 12/10/2020 05:53 PM
Posted 12/10/2020 02:15 PM
Stephen Anderson:
Very nice imagery, Judy.
Posted 12/10/2020 12:01 PM
michael escoubas:
Wonderful imagery in the poem, Judy--thank you!
Posted 12/10/2020 09:26 AM
One of those poems that exquisitely take your breath....
Posted 12/10/2020 08:56 AM
My last magnanimous was ceviche.
Posted 12/10/2020 08:56 AM
Larry Schug:
The second verse is especially magnificent.For a while I was that person in the library, to me, the library being life.
Posted 12/10/2020 08:04 AM
I love this. I'd like to say I'm going to memorize it, but I doubt that will happen, considering I can't remember plain old words sometimes. However, I WILL remember the image of the train arriving with the correct word or of patiently waiting in a beautiful library while I try to retrieve it. Thank you!
Posted 12/10/2020 07:29 AM
Sharon Waller Knutson:
I absolutely love this delightful picturesque poem. The exquisite imagery and unique metaphors are why I am a big fan of Judy Kronenfeld. My favorite line is: it�s as if you�d submitted a request for a rare cartographer�s tome in an elegant library reading room, and waited patiently, under the chandeliers, by the brass lamps, until a tiptoeing librarian wearing white gloves put it into your hands.
Posted 12/10/2020 06:05 AM

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