A Harmonica’s Verse

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For my Great Grandfather Miller

A Harmonica’s Verse

Mine sits on a shelf like a beacon,
ruby red with ten holes.
I had one just like this when you lived.
Your memory already clouding
not recognizing the child sitting,
bright eyes fixed on you
and your silver mouthorgan.
You moved it from side to side
fanning melodies into the room
like your reflex to breathe.
You blew your soul through the tiny holes.
I tried to catch each note
as if holding on to them
meant I could hold on to you.

Though decades have passed
since your songs lifted my ears.
The tunes and moments we shared
are the harmony that sustain
and define my origin
in breath blown over tiny reeds.
Much like the wind
that stirs music from trees
and the soil that feeds.
The memories caught in a child’s tiny hand
are the silver streaks of light
that root her to a musical shore
she knows as home,
where she spins
her own magical songs.


This poem is my contribution to Poets United – Poetry Pantry. Join the fun at Poets United


19 replies
  1. Mary
    Mary says:

    Lovely poem of reminiscence. I do think that some memories last forever and bring harmony to our lives. I think at holidays perhaps one reflects back even more than at other times of the year. I am sure these musical memories have deep roots, and it is good that you wrote this poem to preserve them.

    • Delaina
      Delaina says:

      Thank you Mary. Yes we are truly lucky souls have our treasured memories. Thank you for all you do!

  2. Gabriella
    Gabriella says:

    I like the wistful tone of your poem and how this simple instrument triggers such sweet childhood memories. I was wondering whether the persona remembered a grandparent.

    • Delaina
      Delaina says:

      Thank you Gabriella! Yes I only knew him for a short amount of time but it is time I will always cherish.

  3. Bjorn
    Bjorn says:

    Love the memories.. and how those tunes coming out of the holes mingle with the physical presence of that instrument.. and I love the fact that the harmonica is red.

  4. Sherry Blue Sky
    Sherry Blue Sky says:

    Oh my goodness, how I loved reading this poem. Beautiful memories, told so well I can picture him blowing his soul through the holes……especially love the second stanza, “Much like the wind / that stirs music from trees / and the soil that feeds,” that root her to a musical shore. Sigh. Gorgeous.

    • Delaina
      Delaina says:

      Thank you so much Sherry for your heartfelt comment. I am so glad you like the poem and that is touched you so.

  5. Grace
    Grace says:

    You are lucky to have this instrument to treasure and remember happy memories ~ I specially like that rooting to the musical shore ~ Happy New Year~

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