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Babble


ISSUE:  Summer 2010

If I can learn to think of everything as music
maybe what once upon a time was babble
I’ll hear as song,

what once upon a time was screech
I’ll recognize as a virtuoso singing—my
father, say, whose throat

an instant before the sot at the wheel
of a one-eyed Chevy delivered
him into silence

must surely have released what I’ll hear
as music, wham and bam as
counterpoints, squeal

and thud as the sounds the woman in the
church choir made before we
ventured into song,

she the only soul in the township with
perfect pitch, and we’d sing
Amazing Grace or

I Surrender All as the congregation
apparently having learned to hear most
babble as music,

listened intently, knowing that before
our tower to heaven could be
finished they’d be invited

to remove the hymnals from the backs
of the pews in front of them
and join in.

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