Rosie Prohías Driscoll


Be not afraid; the isle is full of noises,

Sounds and sweet airs that delight and hurt not.

    - The Tempest

The Color of Music

For Sofía

The color of music is mauve

“in my world,” you assert,

as when you were a child younger than now

The word itself, that is,

Purply plump and palpable

Suspended in a space I cannot see

The notes, infinite in number,

Are variegated in hue

Each one a particular shade 

and gift unveiling

the precise point

on your trombone slide 

where you must stop and hold.

A flat arrives in a flood of gray 

B sharp a burst of burnt orange

Black notes on a white page 

illegible to me, your mother,

Sing to you in kaleidoscopic joy.

I listen, in wonder longing

To have my synapses fire red

like your name

To be so in tune 

with the vibrations of the spheres


Each word, each sound

Always more than it seems

In a symphony of light

La Clave

¡La clave, la clave!  ¿Cuál es la clave?

I recognize your accent

syncopated rhythms I have spoken only in memory

Tengo el teléfono descargao, ¡descargao!

and wonder how you landed here on a Monday afternoon

in July, at a Starbucks in Virginia

Mi teléfono, no se carga, ¡no sirve!

amid eyes like pools, pond surfaces

disturbed by the fallout of mind shrapnel

I talk broken English, broken Spanish

settling into the rustle of turning pages, or the smooth screens of laptops  

as you sit, at each table of shifting eyes crossing legs

I think you got the wrong computer there!

Inevitably, you reach me, kneel at my feet,

A supplicant Don Quixote, serenading

Mujer Hermooosa… ¡La clave!  ¿Cuál es la clave?

While I, mujer hermosa, educada y fina

stand, wish you buena suerte, and walk away

Hace falta muchos años para conseguir la paz…

What happened? What happened?

untethered, unable to bear your voice

and the mirror you hold up to my face



Rosie Prohías Driscoll is the proud daughter of Cuban immigrants and was raised in Miami, FL. She holds a B.A. in English from Georgetown University and an M.A. in English and Comparative Literature from Emory University. She taught high school English in Miami and Dedham, MA. and now enjoys motherhood, working at her

parish, volunteering at her daughters’ schools, reading, and writing as honestly and as often as she can. She lives in Alexandria, VA with her husband, two daughters, and

two greyhounds.

2 Poems