My Uncle Played the Sax


Russet face glistening from another realm,
eyes dancing to, A Love Supreme,
he be-bopped through my boyhood,
fingering those keys like crazy,
taking and making them notes his own,
empyrean melodies to fill the whole room,
my ears entirely,
too-cool evocations of heroes who’ve remained mine,
and so I still hear Charlie, John, Ornette, Rashan, Lester,
all my ethereal idols whose music I first heard,
coming from the bell of my uncle’s bright, brass saxophone,
leaving magic music still lingering long
after he’d placed it back home in that same
black, battered case
where he carried his sax.

by L. E. Bryan

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