Unplayed Harmonica

      by Michael Dylan Welch and Carmen Sterba

Winner of an honorable mention in the 2018 San Francisco International Rengay Competition sponsored by the Haiku Poets of Northern California. First published in Mariposa #41, Autumn/Winter 2019, page 29. Originally written on 8 March 2009, on the road between Portland, Oregon and University Place, Washington.

tree fort—
the trumpet’s spit valve
stuck shut                                                                      Michael

        a toy piano
        out in the rain                                                        Carmen

a few empty seats—
the timpani roll fades
into dusk                                                                        Michael

foreclosure—
unplayed harmonica
on the mantelpiece                                                        Carmen

        a stringless banjo
        from papa’s attic                                                    Michael

ring of primroses
in an upturned French horn—
Easter morning                                                              Carmen