One Summer in Majorca

by Geoff Page

Geoff Page

Someone swaps you onto "Hold"
and hits you with the Chopin,
the C Sharp Minor Waltz, I think,

and brings you close to tears.
The first phrase throws the image up
of Chopin and George Sand

on a balcony with palms
alone together in Majorca
and staring at the sea.

"At night, guitars,"
he writes a first,
"and songs for hours on end."

The future hangs there in the notes,
the rushing forward on the beat,
the slipping back like surf.

The intervals suffused with light
are thinned out on the phone
as if the sound of their creation

beside that balcony with palms
had never quite decayed away
but still arrives

through time and space...
though cracking at the edges.
The truth, researched,

is less poetic.
George Sand has her kids on hand,
Maurice and Solange.

The locals think the lovers godless
and charge them double price.
TB gets them chased from town.

And houses prove a hassle too:
the first translates as "House of Winds",
the second one has mouldy walls,

this charterhouse abandoned in the hills.
It's not the summer of romance
but winter all the way.

"I can only go on coughing,
and waiting for the spring.'
The place they rent at Valldemosa

is threatening collapse around them;
the rooms fill up with smoke.
And yet George writes her novel here

and he resolves
while spitting blood
his first two dozen preludes.

It's still there with the phone on "Hold"
and just the seasons changed:
Chopin and

George Sand together
arm in arm in evening light
one summer in Majorca.

Last updated February 22, 2023