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?