The innocence of children. ‘Miss can play!’
The costumed man proffered to me his lute.
They’d seen me with guitar; I played three chords
and those not well. I smiled but told him, ‘No.’
Cavemen fashioned flutes from hollow bones.
Later, wood and ivory were the norm
and, later still, base metal, silver, gold
or platinum for those who could afford
such luxury. One Boehm devised a system
perfecting tuning, easing rapid runs
and I, at fourteen, blew across milk bottles
before I had my own. Contralto voice
then soared to heights that only larks could reach
sweet, pure soprano sang to paradise.
‘Lanikai makes me happy!’ the leaflet boasts.
A smiling man proudly displays his uke
beneath a palm tree. A cloudless sky
backgrounds his pose, his head sports
a red and green garland. Rash, red flowers
dance on my walls. Grubby, green carpet
grows beneath my feet. Golden sun drapes
from curtain rail and golden sand sofa
warms my aching limbs. I pose the chord chart
on rigid red stand. Contralto voice,
baritone strings, fumbling fingers.
Lanikai makes me happy.
First published in Sarasvati