December 18, 2005

Sad music

Pachelbel's Canon in D

I know it's supposed to be sappy
wedding music that makes people cry
tears of joy and smell orange blossoms
or something like that but my daughter
was practicing it every morning
the week before we moved and I remember
Croaky, skinny with freckles, the neighbor boy,
stopping on his way to school to say
he was going to see the new Star Wars movie,
he failed another math test, his father yelled
at him during softball practice because
maybe he is still mad at him for
calling 911, you know, the cops coming
to his house in the middle of the night, flashing
lights and all, that time his mother got beat up
and during that last week I kept giving
him hugs, we both tried not to cry
because we knew things would change,
had to change, we were leaving on Saturday,
leaving forever, and all the time
my daughter just kept her eyes
on the music, her fingers moving,
playing that song over and


Unknown said...

jo(e), has there been some news about Croaky?

jo(e) said...

Songbird: No news. But the local radio and television stations this time of year broadcast messages from young local soldiers, sending holiday greetings home to their families, and I have to say that I find those just heartbreaking.

Anonymous said...

You've put Croaky in my heart for good.

Pilgrim/Heretic said...


Anonymous said...

Oh, jo(e), this is just beautiful.

Rob Helpy-Chalk said...

Jo(e): thanks for putting full-blown poetry on your blog. Your posts are always poetic, but it is nice to see something a little denser.

The poem makes me feel ambigious. I'm still not sure how to react.

Liz Miller said...


Anonymous said...

The poem is beautiful (like I'd expect anything less!) but I thought you never moved? Is that poetic license?

jo(e) said...

PPB: We only moved about seven miles, but for a neighbor kid who pretty much lived at our house, who could walk over any time he wanted, that was still a dramatic change in his life.

jo(e) said...

I should add that Skater Boy, also from that neighborhood, has managed to remain a member of our household. He takes the school bus to our house every Friday and stays until one of us takes him home Sunday night. But things with Croaky were more complex, partially because he had the responsibility of taking care of younger siblings and partially because his unstable living situation kept changing.

KLee said...

Oh, jo(e). I'm sorry. It's sad to associate all those bad memories with that song. Any song, really. I hope that one day, you and Croaky get to make some new, happy memories to that tune, and it cancels out all the bad.

BotanicalGirl said...

It puzzled me when you mentioned that this song makes you sad, but now it all makes sense. Nicely done as poetry as well.

Phantom Scribbler said...


Poetry with hypertext references. I love it.

Running2Ks said...

Croaky, oh Croaky.

Beautiful and sad again.