POETRY: Learning Lyrics

by Tamara Vining


I finally learned the lyrics
at the age of 53
“About time”
whispered a line of specters
(first in line was CSh’rie)

tell me
if you know
all the lyrics, all the songs
all the bands, all the music
in the world

I’d like that job

when music comes back to me
and I can see
and hear again
and everything makes sense
the way it did
when I sang
“Truth”

and “Love
Honor and Cherish”
when I screamed at you
“Why did you die?”
the only way
I knew to ask
by singing we survived

I thought I’d find an answer
from the lyrics, in the song
as long as I could play
at 3 a.m.

my perception was it left me
no one ever was
so lost as I
in heaven
I sat in the back and cried

because I ended up
not forgotten, but
in golden seats
included
I belonged
I wrote enough
to qualify

the music
which creates
the universe
is strong
and disappear
is not
a thing it does

nothing can go wrong
when everything’s all right
and real big notes
have existed
all along

right here


Tamara Vining is a poet, fiction writer, musician, and computer programmer living in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood.

📸 Featured Image is based on a photo attributed to Filipe Ramos and used under a Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0). Photo editing by Emerald staff.

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