Softening Music

Grampa sits on the porch rocking
Hums songs from back in the day when he sang them
Full-throated, lung-topped and smiling breathlessly
Feeling then the words that have slowly escaped him
All forgotten now mostly down the years
Like time of life and kicks and high-spirits.

Daddy sits on the porch stairs intent on his father
Listening close to his old man’s melodies humming
Old music descended more decades than he
Maybe remembering a word here or there
But now all but wordless too, still
Wanting not to forget anything
The tunes at most least
Passing on too, one to the next.

I swing in the yard nearby
See the two before me while I sway
Hanging easy from a tree branch
Held high by strong hemp rope
A smell that sticks long after
Sense memory with no words for it
Moving beyond all understanding
The music of my back and forth sway
Approaching heaven, dancing in harmony
With Grampa’s soft humming
Daddy’s memory grasping
Each time I kick my dangling feet
Watch the way the sun sets on all us three.

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