I hear his cane tap the leg
Of his four-poster wooden bed
And realise I’d dozed off again
In my comfortable reading chair.
“To the bathroom?”
He frowns and canes his way
Tap tap tap tap
To the open window to his left,
Closes his eyes as he reaches it,
And smooths his face into a smile.
Then he canes his way to the library,
Tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap
To the shelf in the south-east corner,
And as he slides the glass open,
I realise what he’s doing there.
He pulls the box down off the books
And wipes it on his pajama pants
And presses an end till the other slides
To reveal the blue brilliance
Of his fifty-three-year-old harmonica.
He canes his way to the window again,
Tap tap again, tap tap again,
Frowns again, closes eyes again,
And plays the only tune he knows,
In step with the beat coming up
From the leaking tap in the yard.