In musty basement dark
of that old house upon the hill
an old man finds a tattered leather case
(dimpled faux-finish, I now see)
caresses it as though it were his lover,
while I stand by and watch.
Gnarled hands fumble
at a rusted clasp that keeps
the contents from intrusion.
In spite of trembling that I know so well,
unwanted company of his later years,
he eases the lid on its loosened hinges.
Pungent aromas escape to fan
familiar once-upon-a-time remembrances
of when I was a child.
Images flash forward,
rape my ears, my eyes
and cold smooth surfaces, my touch,
so that a melding of sensations
hurl me back in time
to when I sat in expectation,
and listened to the quiet.
He brings the contents now to view.
No longer does she gleam,
yet there beneath patina tinged with tarnish
I smell music.
Clutching her now against his concave chest
he shuffles rhythmically across the room,
remembering, no doubt those evenings
spent upon the porch in twilight murmurings.
Once settled in between the cushions
of a tattered, dusty chair
he raises up the precious object to his lips and blows.
Diminished breath invades her inner being.
But I am overcome by remnants,
not of sound, but scent
that lingers still within the archives of my soul
in saxophonic exclamation.
This is an older poem, which I hope will lend its title to my next collection of poetry.
I’m linking this to The Bardo Group‘s Writer’s Wednesday which I’m hosting tonight with the prompt for sensory description. The prompt will be available tonight at 7:00 PM PST.