Vol 9, Num 20 :: 2010.11.05 — 2010.11.18
It doesn’t take much
to derail a song —
bad idea, bad singing,
bad tuning, a heart attack,
or even a broken string or two.
It’s just enough
to knock harmony
down a few steps,
to bring everything
to a screeching halt.
What else are young musicians
to do but stop, tune and retune
never quite sounding the same.
The audience won’t help,
thinking about reaching out
or applauding but they stick in silence
between the seat and the stage.
You can’t beat feet back to childhood,
snuggle up in your father’s lap
and unwrap caramels and Bilbo Baggins,
all the while rocking the old chair, smidge
by smidge towards the fireplace
one detuned squeak at a time;
and I can’t retreat to the dark
woods of my first hunting trip
where my dad builds a fire for my chills
where the syncopation of wet
whining sticks and popping coals
unwind a thread of smoke from the pines.
So we saunter on with no melody,
no music — this lost voice
crackling in the dying embers
still smoldering, still creaking.