Singing My Praises
My father sang often, and off key, a dreadful sound
for all his cheer, deep in his throat, like something stuck,
something buried and straining to get out.
Ganz falsch! my mother would yell,
“Completely wrong!” She tried to pick up the tune,
which sounded like death coming slowly, like pain
and darkness covering the visible world.
My ears ached, and I hid beneath a blanket
until they stopped and gasped for breath, laughing
at their own ineptitude. Then they’d have a drink
and a smoke, while I listened to my radio.
I don’t know how it happened, but I had a great voice,
full-throated as a nightingale, clear as a mountain stream,
rich as whipped cream on a one-per center’s birthday cake.
I starred in the grade school musical, charmed the bullies
and the girls. I sang in the outfield, sang at the beach,
harmonizing with seagulls and waves.
I sang on the bus, and even the driver hummed along.
Later I sang in a band, with my eyes closed most of the time.
I never shut up.
I sang in the street, and neighborhood dogs howled along.
I even sang when I broke my leg, when my skin itched so badly
that notes burst from me, a thousand nails from a homemade
If you have any thoughts on this poem, Steve Klepetar
would be pleased to hear them.