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Blue Guitar


On an afternoon in October

I am arranged on a stool playing a guitar

on a stage awash in cerulean light

Sporting a hazel green Stetson

that brims rakishly over dark Maui Jims,

I can barely perceive the smiles

on the faces of dutifully attentive friends

crowding the hay mows

in a barn made of fieldstone and ancient oak

I close my eyes while sustaining an F major chord

When I open my eyes I see a faint quiver

in the dusty air flowing through a needle of sunbeam

as the final reverberations or F and E and C and G

are absorbed in the slated ceiling

Later that evening a golden ray

Illuminates an inscription carved in the hay mow wall —

the name of a girl whose family farmed our land

almost two centuries ago — “Faith”

Faith wished to be remembered, I must suppose,

for she cast her identity into the future

and I am the one chosen to recognize it,

so I conjure her and ask:

Could she foresee a future

in which this barn becomes a cathedral of music

where boisterous neighbors gather to celebrate

the flowering of America?

Bouncing down Old Bethlehem Road

in her father’s wagon on a summer Sunday

on the way to the Mennonite church,

secure under her gray bonnet, chores completed,

did she ever glance back at the farmstead

and glimpse what time had in store?

Did she envision a Spirit in the barn

who frolics in echoes emanating from the stiff fingers

or an old man playing a blue guitar?

Donald Wolfe is a 17-year resident of Bucks County. Formerly a partner and CPA in a large international accounting firm, he also obtained an M.A. in English with a Creative Writing emphasis. He writes and performs music as a singer-guitarist, paints, crafts stop-motion animation videos, travels and fly-fishes.

Poet’s Corner is curated by Bucks County Poet Laureate Tom Mallouk and supported by a grant to the Bucks County Herald Foundation made possible by Marv and Dee Ann Woodall.

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