Friday, August 14, 2009

Ode to my Silvertone

O guitar, I sold you,
first guitar I ever had.
I sold your string set too high,
higher than the valleys
in my left fingertips.
I sold the missing bridge knob,
and the broken strap peg.
I sold the mahogany.
I sold your faint sunburst.

You were the first guitar I ever had,
purchased by my dad
in the famous dreams of my youth
when my heart was an alternating bass
when I was an apostrophe
curled around your feminine curve.

I sold your f-holes and the bridge
warmed and patinaed by
my long slender fingers
and my young anxious hand.
I sold the dark blue felt gig bag
with "Harptone" scrolled in yellow
crackling at a 45° angle.

But o, guitar, I could not sell highschool nights
balancing you on my knee
with the song book spread on my bed.
I could not sell the hours practicing,
the songs played for friends,
the folk operas written,
the march of my right hand fingers
as I learned my first L Cohen song.

O, guitar, I could not sell
playing my first song for my father.
I could not sell
performing a talking blues
at senior year assembly.
I could not sell
your ancestors
and the poetry they sang.

O my well-mannered lover
o mistress of 3-fret by 6 string boxes
o mystery of F & B7 &
other wickedness
O mother of each guitar
yet to come.
I could not sell you,
I could only pass you on
to minister to a new troubadour.

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