22 September 2006



        Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M

        You were five months old. New in my life.
        You lay in the cot listening to nursery rhymes
        repeated by a battery-operated toy. You couldn’t sleep.
        When Ba Ba Black Sheep came on for the fourth time,
        you wept with what sounded like despair.
        Already you had a taste for the better things in life.

        From the closet I took the old guitar.
        I hadn’t touched it for years. I wiped the dust off
        with a cloth. Tuned up the sad, neglected strings again.
        But my fingers did remember and my ears were still there.
        So I played. I sang Yesterday like a clear memory.
        And there was Simon & Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence,
        and Presley’s Love Me Tender. All oldies even
        back when I’d first heard them myself.

        In the dark you sat, propped against your baby pillows.
        Wide-eyed and listening, you followed my voice and guitar,
        gulping down each note. It was like nothing you’d heard before.
        You were fascinated. You struggled to stay awake.
        At 3 a.m, the last beautiful stanza of If by Bread
        finally pulled you into sleep.

        But I sat there by myself, playing on. Cradling the guitar
        close to me. You remind me of things, son, that I’d known all along.
        Like the sound of a simple major chord. And the way the old songs talk
        of love and tell a story. I teach you words, I sing you songs,
        and you teach me again their possibilities.
posted by Gilbert at Friday, September 22, 2006

8 Comments:

Blogger Nancy, Near Philadelphia said...

Nice. Very nice.

September 24, 2006  
Blogger Deborah said...

Wow, that was beautiful. Makes me want to tune my guitar and make an attempt to awaken those old, discarded dreams.

September 24, 2006  
Blogger floots said...

glad to see you posting again
and
i was knocked out by this one especially
thank you

September 25, 2006  
Blogger MB said...

You've been missed, Gilbert!

You reworked this? It's nicely done.

September 26, 2006  
Blogger Gilbert Koh said...

You people are nice, to visit me again after such a long time. :)

September 26, 2006  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

i think this is one of the best poems you have written. one of my favourites.

Wednesday Morning, 3 AM. yeah, i have listened to this song from Simon & Garfunkel

September 26, 2006  
Blogger Mr Jherek said...

Very nice poem. Beautiflly expressed.

September 30, 2006  
Blogger family man said...

Yes, it reminds me of my brothers Ash and Jeff, plonking on the guitar, singing those same songs you sang, and John Denver, in that small 2 bedroom flat, 8 siblings and I feel blessed. Thanks Gilbert, and thanks to my brothers.

October 05, 2006  

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