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Four decades have ached by

since her passing

in the laboratory of his mind

there’s an emptying out

cellophane packets of minutae

extracted and scrutinized

tiny shoe scrapings

a muddy leaf

evidence of paths traveled

since then


In a corner

a snatch of lyrics, a catchy melody

maroon label, a 1955 recording

scratchy with the tracks of blunting needles

riding their bicycles round the grooves

pedaling over familiar bypaths

fading somewhat with impaired hearing

yet still true to the original


Carefully he shakes out the contents

on to a glass table top

tweezers lifting each tiny scrap

until at last the words appear

on a fragment as large as a postage stamp


Now he places the memory

cotton wooled for protection

in a matchbox sized coffin

packs it away beside all the others

sleeping from year to year

listens to the melody one last time

before closing the drawer


Next year will be forty one, he thinks



So be sure its true

when you say I love you

it’s a sin to tell a lie


1955 – Somethin’ Smith and the Redheads

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© Johnmichael Simon



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