For my father who suffered from muscular dystrophy
Toward the end, when your
fingers could grasp neither pen, nor shoelace,
button, spoon, or violin bow,
you took my hand.
From the pocket of your coat, you
pulled the blue harmonica.
I sat while you arranged your
difficult limbs into the chair.
Elbows on knees, hands awkward—
cupping that small box
of metal and grid,
You played yellow—
sunflower, marigold, calendula—
the finches at dawn.
You played green—
laughing meadow, trembling anemones,
Our walks in the woods!
You played blue—
you played blue so deep,
I fell to the bottom of it, and then
you played me back up
to the places where angels sing.
When the end came
there was no more music. Only
troubled breath and the sharp sound of that
harmonica slap-slapping against your knee.
“It’s no use, Maidie…it’s no use…”
But it was, Vati! It was!
This poem was written in honor of a gentleman with Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy, Eva's father.
I thank Eva for sharing this with us all.