Saturday, April 23, 2016



All right, Pa.
You want me to invent a better story?
Youngest son

grows up to become
the world's first famous
ukulele musician.

Deprived of violin and trumpet
by his older brothers,
he discovers a musical passion

all his own. Deeply regrets
missing out on a life of farm work.
How's that for invention?

The truth will be:
Youngest son inherits farm,
makes agriculture his ambition.

Finds fame
in cattle and crops.
His regrets? None.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2016


  1. Ukulele Life

    Your ukulele life
    is so different than hers –
    a bow placed on the string
    sings so clear and bright.
    But yours? No long-song
    rings into the night.
    Each plucked note
    lands thin and short;
    your music,
    a blur of the hand.

  2. Mary Lee,
    Your poem made me think about how some lives are violin lives and some are ukulele lives. Henry seems to have found his music in the daily pluck of the strings.

    1. I love thinking about the difference between a violin life and a ukulele life. There's beauty in both!

  3. This one isn't real either???
    It feels so real. The youngest son. The violin and trumpet.
    The agricultural ambitions. Feel very real to me.
    And I love Steve's companion poem.

    Typing at Kinko's again. Sorry if this turns out weird.

    Yes, I know you told me

    those light colored pants

    would not wear well

    they would show

    every bit of dirt

    and we wouldn't be able

    to get the spots out

    and then after I bought them

    with the money I earned sweeping

    the back room at Hoffsteter's Grocery

    you said I should definitely not wear them

    except on Easter Sunday

    and yes, I know the $6 I spent

    on the straw hat like Grandpa's

    was ridiculous too

    I should have put it in savings bonds

    and now, here I am

    standing out in the yard

    in my unwashable

    light colored pants

    there's a mud streak

    on the back of the left leg

    and you are absolutely right

    it probably won't come out

    and I have only worn the hat once

    to church on Easter Sunday

    and all the guys made fun of it

    and I was embarrassed,

    and I probably shouldn't have bought it

    I know I won't wear it very often

    but there are some times

    a guy's gotta consider

    who he might wanna be


    (C) Carol Wilcox, 2016

    1. There is definitely an attempt at a sense of style in this, of someone trying to be something he's really not. But your poem captures the importance of trying on those personas when we're young and figuring our true selves out.

      Nope. Not true. I'm pretty sure that's my dad (I think the violin player was his brother Lee), and we still have that ukulele in a drawer in the basement.


  4. This machine
    Taking tiny
    of melody
    and making them
    Listen, and
    your feet
    will dance
    with us, as I
    let loose
    with the world
    at my fingertips.