This Musical Life

Make me an instrument of your peace. ~ St. Francis

~ Dedicated To Don

Not even the crepitus in his knees

can stymie his offering: the embouchure

— years of dedicated notes

swirling through the open

window — with which he masters

every woodwind.  Breathtaking

transformed into the sex

of sax as I dance alone,

undone.  Sometimes he sings

in his deep clarinet voice

in the secret language my soul

can translate.  Today

my 99-year-old neighbor

and I regard each other

from the screens that separate

us, unearthed, this heavenly

transport by the flute.

The blessing begins when

he says, “Going down

to practice,” before a fight

and I’m left floating

into the kitchen in my snit,

making my ways to pots

and pans to stir all this

magic into soups and cakes

I’ll bring to her — she smiles

across the way, anticipating

these comforts we’ve created.

We’ll sip tea and savor

the secret ingredient,

what others pay dearly to hear

gifted to us by the very air

until he creaks painfully

up the stairs once more,

baffled to find me humming

— the simmering fight transmuted

into joy washing through

the sink filled with dishes.

 

Inspired by: Embouchure, Stymie, Crepitus, and Breathtaking.

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