japonisme: scarlett ribbons

25 December 2008

scarlett ribbons

I never got along with my
father - when I was 3 I wished
they would break up so I could
go off with my mom.

The same mom who was so
jealous of his adoration of
the infant me that she cut
it off at the source.

He hauled off and slugged me
often. “Don’t you talk to your
mother that way!”
She hit me too. With a shoe.

But stuck in my head
like a treasure in the attic
are memories of
my father and music.

He played the piano.
He played “Fur Elise.”
When I was very little
he played “The Airplane Song.”

I was the plane. spinning
through the living room,
arms outstretched as wings.
Sometimes I just sat

At his feet, as they worked
the pedals. It was cozy
hiding under the keyboard,
listening to him play.

There was one song he sang
every year about this time. “Scarlett Ribbons,” the Burl Ives
version. He sang it anywhere.

In his dark car driving
home from work, with
me in the back seat,
singing along.

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hi, and thanks so much for stopping by. i spend all too much time thinking my own thoughts about this stuff, so please tell me yours. i thrive on the exchange!

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