Wednesday, February 23, 2011


In the belly of a bellow,

just past the halfway mark of winter,

our coughs and colds are less than daylong

and the heaving beast,

with whistling lungs,

with buckling, splintered legs

and shinier shoe polish camouflage,

creaks to a topple

to a wail of an out of tune crash of

too many voices.

Middle C is now Low D

and all the chords

are majorly mine,

piled in a puddle of cooling ivory,

stalling over sticky smudges,

popped knuckles rusted in place,

gracelessly getting to the next measure,

catching on to catching up,

off beat or rhythm, off key, out of tune,

out of time and town.

The dust alone dries out my voice,

and I cannot sing from the hoarseness

in a chorus, sing

in the absence

of Great Uncle Accompanist.

How did we get this knee deep

in scores, in piles of laundry and picture frames,

in the teeter tottering of imbalanced benches?

How did we get through the front door,

dead weight, wood, ivory, and Allah,

to suck up the space of a perfectly useful dining room

just to close the French doors behind us?