Friday, September 7, 2012

Your unbroken voice, or the sea

The Black Guitar

 Clearing out ten years from a wardrobe
 I opened its lid and saw Joe
 written twice in its dust, in a child’s hand,
 then a squiggled seagull or two.

 Joe, Joe
 a man’s tears are worth nothing,
 but a child’s name in the dust, or in the sand
 of a darkening beach, that’s a life’s work.

I touched two strings, to hear how much
 two lives can slip out of tune
 then I left it,

 brought down the night on it, for fear, Joe
 of hearing your unbroken voice, or the sea
 if I played it.

Paul Henry

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