Echo Chase
by Dan Senn

Click PLAY and read text aloud (see L08).
See Performance Note.




A chinless woman
pushes herself
onto the bench
as coins drop
into a metal box.

She spreads out
a tourist map
flattens the wrinkles
on her large purse
like Sunday comics.

Her cell phone 
humzzz,
      buzzes,
            humzzz,
                       buzzes…

She whispers
a curt curse
and reads the SMS.

HER EYES BULGE.

It is from Mary,
the Mother of Jesus,
telling her
to turn
off her phone.

Shocked,
she obliges,
and quietly folds
the map.

(silence)

The sound of
velcro tearing,
tears...
terror.

The beep,
flash,
click
of cameras
bleat-bleaching
this God museum.

An old woman
chink-chinking
a metal cane,
retractable,
joints loose.

Small voices of
mum-mumbling
penitents.

A hissed protest
from behind,
me sitting
and scribbling.

The sudden squawk
of a warning alarm…

“STAY BACK SINNER
BUT LEAVE CASH
AT THE DOOR!”

In Czech, of course.

A security man
in a black jump suit
appears, thumbs
his squawker
once…
then again.

He too
cannot help himself.

The echo is sublime.

DS 061509
Bazilika sv. Jakub, Prague

ęDan Senn 2019

BMI

Performance Note:
Intone text in a blues
style as suggested by the
tprerecorded tracks.

Dan Senn's Site