Pogany’s Parsifal Leaves the Castle

As you touch the man on the bridge
in Pogany’s Parsifal,
you walk into canvas,


sky unfastens and rain pummels rooftops.

Your umbrella veers water to streams,
sheets of tree frogs ricochet off

like the sound of grapes pelting sailcloth.
Your heels clack over cobblestones

as you rise above castle Neuschwanstein.
The umbrella shrinks and you land on a tower,
descend stone steps to Singer’s Hall
with murals of swans and Wagner’s opera
Parsifal. You hear lake water pulse
and dripping stalactites in the grotto,


then enter the Byzantine throne room, unfinished
and still waiting for crazy King Ludwig.
A swan statue awakens, wings spread
as you climb on, fly through a door
crawling with vines, soar over Bavarian Alps
then land along the green snake of the Rhine.


Pogany’s canvas reappears,
one chance to step backward
as the road beckons you ahead.

(Originally published in Grab-a-Nickel)