sho How the Music Came to My Father | The Poetry of Lee Kisling

How the Music Came to My Father

Soon to be published in Sixfold

 

How the Music Came to My Father

Sort of a miracle, you might say because
I never saw or heard him practice. Just one day
there he was playing an accordion in his baggy pants
and white shirt looking like he was holding two bags
of potatoes, squeezing the air in and out of them.
The miracle of it—so sudden and unexpected—I now
picture God reaching down his wavering finger to touch
some other man with musical sensibilities, some father
two doors down, but accidentally touching Glenn.
And there he was, blessed, in our crackerbox house,
playing some nickering old-world polka and a passed-over
father down the street pulled his belt from his pants
and went looking for his boys.

The cosmic error was corrected eventually by
whoever it is that fixes God’s mistakes. We went back
to our yelling and the whippings and the accidental
Myron Floren moment passed. The world I knew
made sense again, and the holy finger must have
only barely brushed against him—he never said this
is going to hurt me more than it hurts you. And now
he’s in a sort of band of accidental squeeze box angels
on 42nd Street in heaven and there is a champagne bubble
machine, and sometimes they go marching in their old
army uniforms down that gold paved road,
shaking with palsy, tickling the ivories,
singing Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.