Standing at the cliff, saxophone
in hand, he bends to bring the reed
to his lips, sending blue notes out,
across the valley, spirit dressed up
like song. I knew only my father’s
music, holding the hymnal’s soaring
notes, clean and white, from the high choir.
My man holds a new dialect in his saxophone,
a lament of life sailing past the rocky cliff, a psalm
plea. Eyes closed, afloat in the wailing, he leans
into its raining spell, it’s question, how long, how long?
The horn sends out a vernacular of blues,
bursts a flood of notes, squeezed
between a rock and river bank,
searching for the source. His blue notes,
a loon calling.
Crying for its nestmate.