• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 11
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Today’s the day:
We fire up the lifevest harp
For a concert,
A modest recital
Of the lives
Of the drowned.

Today’s the day:
We do it open-air,
Old-school style.
Dangerous, I know.
But I am covered neck to foot
In ultralight Sun-U-Block™.
Both demure
And so efficient.
My hands and neck, décolleté:
Factor four hundred.

I’m breathing a flask
From Daddy’s cellars:
Finest mountain morning.
A twenty-six, a vintage year,
With notes of pine and meadow,
Silky woodlands on the palate,
A long dewy finish
With just a hint of ash in the aftertaste.



I start to sing:
“This Earth’s a broken splendid thing”
Smiles and a little flutter of applause
Spread around the audience.
It’s an old favorite.

The harp retrieves
Sweet voices from the depths.
But appropriately muted
For those of a sensitive nature.

I follow on with a medley:
“As Florida her shores beheld”,
“When once down Bourbon I did wade”
And that old traditional:
“The Algae Fishers”.

I can see a tear in Mother’s eye.

Afterwards she comes and clasps me to her bosom.
“What a day,” she says.
“What a day to remember.”
“Doesn’t it just make you glad
To be alive?”