this beautiful instrument of carefully chosen wood
its resonant round back sits warmly under my rib
its aged neck nestled lightly in the palm of my hand

it travelled with me to Ireland, Morocco, Poland, India, Spain
giving pleasure to strangers in wayside and stations
helping me find friendships in far away lands

i walked with it slung on my back in a desert valley
pausing as a strange music haunted my ear
looking about for the source of mysterious sound

the strings vibrated in response to a greater musician
the lone song of my mandolin played by the wind
it had no need of my hands. my hands long for it now

safely home, hung again on my wall, a thing of beauty,
resting, its grace and my love of it inspired hatred
one who wished to hurt me, hurt it in anger, vicious spite

while i was locked out, unable to reach you,
gone, a place under my rib left empty
no light glints on silvered strings

the wind will no longer touch them, nor i
one hundred and fifty years, gone in one moment
full of tunes played and tunes not written

all that remains, a strap embroidered
with roses and ivy entwined


2 thoughts on “Mandolin

  1. Wonderful poem with beauty and pain. It is my opinion that musical instruments, specially the older, used ones are like living creatures. Once broken their spirit enters the new one. I am almost sure that the spirit of the old mandolin strokes those strings together with you.
    Be not sad
    Because it’s true
    When I die
    I come in you.


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