Tiny keyboard bearing the massive reverie of the past-
press one button, we're carried away on a country road,
marching with saints, leaving the Red River Valley...
here is every holiday you hated, every hard time,
each steamy summer wish. You closed your eyes
in the wooden stairwell, leaning your head against the wall,
knowing a bigger world loomed. It's still out there,
and it's tucked in this keyboard too,
now we are an organ, now we are an oboe,
now we are young or ancient,
now we are smelling wallpaper in the house
our grandfather sold with every cabinet,
table and doily included,
but we are still adrift, floating,
thrum-full of longing layers of sound.
About this poem
"Last week a magical Casio keyboard came to stay in our house one night only. Some young friends manipulated the buttons so it began playing its entire 100 contained songs in automatic succession. Then a poem arrived as well."
-Naomi Shihab Nye
About Naomi Shihab Nye
Naomi Shihab Nye is the author of "Transfer" (BOA Editions, 2011). She t eaches at the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin and lives i n San Antonio.
The Academy of American Poets is a nonprofit, mission-driven organization, whose aim is to make poetry available to a wider audience.
(c) 2014 Naomi Shihab Nye.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate