La Vie en Rose

By JEFF McRAE 

 

We scraped the Mississippi
mud
off our old piano and father 

blew his solos out the open window 
and over the meadow 

and mother made me strut
with her double-stops, drum sticks 

in hand, the old rhythms
of everything I hadn’t learned 

but was sure I heard bouncing
off the mountains in my head. 

Fleas marched across
the saint-filled rug. It wasn’t 

sorrowful to travel somewhere
new, that’s what the music said.  

I was moved—some nights
unsure where here was. 

Beale Street? Indiana? I lived
five miles outside town, 

cow piss in my boot.
My splash cymbal ached to punch 

the end of every tune.
We shook hands and I shivered 

with joy—it was real, 
living, our family band.

 

Jeff McRae‘s poems have appeared in The Massachusetts Review, The Antioch Review, Salamander, Cloudbank, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and many other publications. He has poems forthcoming in I-70 Review, Rattle, Permafrost Magazine, and elsewhere. He lives in Vermont.

[Purchase Issue 22 here.]

La Vie en Rose

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