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Papa Bach

A garish Fall—
   strident, blood colored, dangerous,
      its burnt leaves curled,
   came early that year
We don’t know much about him—
   The official records show
      just a few bills, a few formal letters
         of application, appointment
      and resignation, some formal
         complaints and a few reprimands
I can’t be honest with you
   because nothing in this world is true
No diaries, no memoirs, no personal letters
He was confrontational
   and insubordinate
These are the scars of the heart stung
Distant from the world and its pleasures
   covenants, rules and rulers
He wrote music for “the glory of God
   and the recreation of the soul”
Injured as you are
   you’ll never get off this rock
   without some kind of song
But the dark roots show
   beneath all that gold

-November 1, 2009-