Elegy For An Upright Piece Of Family History
Poem By Charles Rossiter
Globs of candle wax drippings on top,
faded dry wood that needs oiling,
but it's still in tune, at least with itself
or nearly so, after 18 years
on a Chicago back porch in all seasons,
zero to a hundred degrees,
occasionally played, always at the ready.
That porch rang with doo wop,
Amazing Grace and early Jerry Lee.
The neighbors were ok with it.
We always stopped by nine, except for the time
we hosted 50 teens for a camp reunion
overnight. Our good suburban cops
came by and dutifully said to bring it down.
We got it free from a friend
for the cost of moving, and now it's gone.
Hauled off by a guy named Bill
who plans to turn it into a bar
with a clear front that will let his friends
see the insides polished back to new.
He likes winter projects in the shop
he says, has an eager look on his face
when he says it. Jack learned C F and G
on that piano. As far as I know
it only has one dead key.