top of page
Blue Sky

Your Heart Song: A Poem for Charles Gruber: Everyday Magic, Day 871

Updated: Sep 26, 2023


IMG_0873

Your Heart Song


for Charles


Listen, listen, listen: how could I ever forget

you with your shining brown eyes, raising your eyebrows

when you bow, hands together at the center of your chest

whenever we meet in an East Lawrence alleyway

or before the glowing dessert case at Wheatfields?


Listen to the lilt of the wind, the hard-won laughter

that comes in the middle of a May afternoon,

when I ask you what dying is like, and we sing

“This Little Light of Mine.” I ask what it means to be

a father, and you sing, “Tickle me once, tickle me twice.”


“Is that what fathering is?”


“How could it be anything but?” you answer.


Listen to Rosie snoring along your side as you try

to catch the words that used to rush through

the river of what you knew, now hidden

in the reeds or thinned to oblivion.


Listen to the stories you tell of Paris hipster lesbians

or Volkswagens with bad mojo, houses no one

or everyone wanted, and mostly, the great loves of your life:

wife, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren.


So we listen, wait and listen, and if you fall asleep or forget,

Khabira plays Willie Nelson, the phone rings,

and someone leaves a cherry pie at the front door.


The thunderstorms tell of your enthusiasm for all

that gathers us in a circle and makes us sing,

look into each other’s eyes, and remember.

Listen, listen, listen: your heart song

1 view0 comments
Blue Sky
bottom of page