I left it alone in the corner for awhile, my guitar.
Well, for 7 years or so, maybe a little more.
I just stopped playing after the operation that left my arm gimpy
and a dull mad settled down inside.
I learned to use scissors again and then paint and doodle
and even dig and prune and row and throw the ball hard
for the dogs
but my guitar gathered dust and silence
and held her tongue about it.
Maybe when I lost the calluses on my fingers
they slid down inside
like a stone bruise to my heart
and when people would ask
I said I just didn’t play anymore
but what I really meant was that I wouldn’t sing those songs
and don’t go there
because the loss is stuck in my throat.
But I couldn’t shut her away in the closet
or stop rubbing the years from her face
or keep the songs from singing themselves anyway.
Life kept tugging them out and love gave them wings
and the music rained down still
until the mad cracked and broke apart
and healing washed in the way it does
and just after Christmas I gave her new strings.
And how does she nestle so solid in my arms
and take me into hers as if nothing has passed between us
and unfold her haunting beauty
and that sound that stretches my heart wide open
sending me deeper into wonder,
farther into love
and isn’t that only what I ever always wanted?
And now somehow a door got opened,
the one that slammed shut so hard on my wing
that I had to put her down
and I’m finding the songs again
like feathers in the sand.
“Blackbird singing in the dead of night,
take these broken wings and learn to fly
all your life,
you were only waiting for this moment to arise.”