(July 4,1950 / Flint, Michigan)

The Clarinet Is A Difficult Instrument

I was eating minestrone
when I heard something fall
outside my apartment window.
Too dark to see much
but a pair of hairy arms slam shut
a window on the third floor
of the building opposite mine.

In the morning all I found
was a bent clarinet on cement,
dented horn and pawn shop sticker
saying nine dollars.

It reminded me of the French explorer
Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac.
He too had dreams, set sail
up the St. Lawrence, looking for China,
and wound up settling in Detroit instead.




(1976)

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Comments (2)

Abandoned dreams. Maybe the loudest music of the age. Great subject brilliantly despatched.
Sometimes the broken songs of life cannot be mended, but to somone, somwhere the music still matters. Lovely poem. Kindest regards, Sandra