Grandpa’s Violin MAG

By Katherine B., Royal Oak, MI

The house is empty, and I’m
Kneeling on the Oriental rug.
You couldn’t tell if I was
Praying or begging, and
This instrument so delicate in my cautious hands -
I can feel it crumbling
Beneath my calloused fingers.
So far away, he is
Wrapped like a mummy in
Neat brick walls, white corridors
With cheap art, with
Wheelchair and shrunken frame
Mind that slips like water
Through our hands,
That papery skin. This delicate wood
Trembles as I turn pegs
To loosen and remove the two inner strings;
With each tension slackened
Relief sighs through broken cracks
Like the sigh that ran collectively
Through my orchestra, in that
Tiny silent moment
Between the song’s end and roar of applause.
After sitting on the edge of our chiars,
Fingers pressed, we could breathe at last
As one orchestra.
Long-weathered wood finish stole my eyes;
I’ll play it forever, I thought.
Nights, years, two strings removed,
And in the space where they should be
Is a sense of mutation.
The fingerboard melts into gaping chasm,
While between white walls and cheap art
A parallel chasm takes equal toll.
I stare, between the strings that once rang,
Into the black once solid enough to
Press my fingers into, now, just space.

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i love this so much!


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