Harmonica things

Broken bread. Bookshelves lined.
Cracked brick wall beside the stair.
What are the things that make up a home,
make up a life. Egg beaters
and a painted pot.

My grandmother’s things
have made a place in my kitchen,
in my life. Her blue and white teacups.
Her handwritten recipes
neatly tucked behind plastic pages
in a white book that simply says RECIPES
on the bind.
I keep it in my bedroom
to keep it safe,
rather than the kitchen.

Just under the RECIPE book
there’s an old harmonica
speckled with rust
still shiny on the brim
and it reads MARINE BAND
with an engraving of a man.
It goes from 1 to 10, ten notes, ten keys…
know nothing about harmonicas.
Maybe that man knows something.
My grandfather must have.
It also reads M. Hohner in fancy pretty script.
Made in Germany, on the back, and
the dates 1873, 1871, 1881, and 1876…
wonder what those mean.
I think this was my grandfather’s,
the one I never met.
I haven’t met any of my grandfathers.
Can’t touch my lips to the steel
because of the rust
and the dust and there’s little cobwebs inside.

My father’s old globe
on its wooden stand
with its golden spindle,
it spins southeast.
Only southeast.
It sits now
next to my desk.
Makes my room look wise
and traveled.
My room has been nowhere.
When I was a kid
we’d play that game where you spin
the globe reeeeeeeaaallll fast
and then touch your finger tip
to the bridge of the equator
the Tropic of Capricorn,
the bumps and valleys and dips of mountainous
ranges from sea to sea.
And you’d stop it. Wherever.
Wherever it landed that was where
you had to move. It was part of that fairytale
of moving
and growing up
and falling in love.
Wonder why it ended with falling in love.
What ever came next?

And where is my mother, missing me
from a train ride away.
Her dark brown hair
dark deep eyes.
So much of her in me.
Where will I place all of her things…

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