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Familiar Instruments

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Newborn baby cried, ruddy like an apple.
Father took a long swig of his favorite beer;
no one said having a kid would be this rough.
Least the baby was alive, so all was right
in his world free, for now, of a corpse,
with Grandma’s tunes playing softly through the piano.

The wood, like a cigarette burning away, turned dark on the aging piano.
The blossom had slowly curled away for the apple,
each petal on the ground its own lonely corpse.
Father, with the tot in one arm, held in the other his beer.
The toddler reached to the right;
he touched that neck so scraggy and rough.

The downturned economy had made living rough.
Thick canvas, so bright, covered her piano.
Music was the source of joy; his grandma had been right.
The father swallowed and it dipped, his protruding Adam’s apple,
as he gulped the luxury of his beer.
Replacing it with savings was a long-gone corpse.

Laying his sorrowful eyes on Grandma’s corpse,
the back of the child’s throat got caught and rough.
Father watched him mourn her from afar, heavily drinking his beer.
Grandma was buried, and they rolled away her piano.
Winter’s song played softly in his memory as he saw the apple,
last of the season, fallen from the tree that stood far to the right.

He couldn’t play God; Father couldn’t always be right.
Her piano, lost in the junkyard, became a forsaken corpse
hidden among the rusted metal and bits of rotten apple.
The innocent bid for those days that passed by so rough
now lived in the dusty hollows of her old piano.
What can’t be fixed, Father would whisper, can be erased with beer.

Learning from Father’s past pitfalls, the child evaded beer,
leaving that barren shell once called home; it only felt right.
He was in pursuit of a virgin piano,
void of the memories of that left behind corpse
of his grandmother, and the father who said he had it so rough.
Springtime, she’d say, is in sensing the newly blossomed apple.

Driving right through the orchard, his eye was caught by a single apple,
its surface shining with the glint of beer, and yet its shape so rough.
Father’s corpse bluntly impaled him with the force of memories hidden by his piano.





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