snow creeped up the hills and no one heard for miles and miles and miles and miles around and around that’s where you go to find peace as if it were the title of a song but the voice in your head prattles the voice you call yours
we fling volleyballs onto the pavement; we leap 10 feet into the air. we are practicing our game faces, teeth bared into a loud smile and we will be here when it’s 90° in the shade. we know how to swing our legs. cha. cha. this can mean laughter if you want. They say laughter is medicine and that sometimes it’s necessary to be brave— I want to hear your song; go ahead and go for it.
You Don’t Need Music Lessons
No, you do, starting from sprouthood. Having an instrument in the house gives a child a moral weapon. The child can defend herself and be violent and beautiful doing it. He can stoke his life into the piano. Now his voice and the piano are the same voice. They teach us emotions. Sometimes we set our emotions on DO Not Disturb. Sometimes we set them on airplane mode. We create most of our problems from our emotions, gagging our emotions, perpetuating them, silencing them. But a ukulele dangle on the wall and says, come be happy. or sad. They goad you on as you write what comes after “this is why I’m here...” you stamp your foot and sing brazenly. People listen. And if they don’t, you dream your way through the dull and drag. Our bodies are instruments too. Crazy spiritual energy moves through the nerves. When people talk, that’s their spirit speaking. Comes closer when they’re singing. In that sense, when we pray, we sing. When we sing, we make a lot of commotion.
Daniel Barry currently works as a teacher on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. He's had poetry accepted by Corpus Callosum Press, Last Stanza Poetry Journal, Ignatian Literary Journal, Teach. Write., and Calla Press. A poem of his has been accepted by B Cubed Press' "Alternate Leadership Anthology" and a poem of his appears in The Lark Publication's "Passionate Poetry Anthology" to raise money for cancer research. His Instagram handle is @daniel.the.poet.
EDITOR'S SONG PAIRING: Create Music — Be Brave