expecting the father’s return from work,
watches the steep, narrow gravel drive
for his briefcase
bearing business papers and paychecks,
instead sees strapped to the motorcycle’s metal rack
holding the asymmetrical shape
of an autoharp
with its squared shoulders.
Red felt dampers,
like controlling arms,
hover over the diatonic strands
ready to pin those not needed for the chord.
His fingers strum the strings and picks
move like garden snakes through her weeds
and cover the maple-quilted tobacco-stained finish.
GL, 9/22/2011. Prevail.