You gamble on good days,

throw the dice at a five o’clock

moon on the off chance that the

sixty minute drive northbound

will be free of the antlered ones,

their belly heavy mates swaying

from late beds to early breakfasts.


You wager on having just enough to get by,

the low side of fierce when you drag

armor and its weight drags at  your very being.


Like seeing the hulk of the 1906 piano

minus keys, minus its damper assembly,

minus the music and you miss your soul.


You wonder about the slick fixer in the art

city by the river who will rewrap each hammer

and has conned you into believing that the

songs lie deep within the mahogany and not

the curling scraps around his feet.


After the day’s dealers go home, you gather

your take and the bag is heavy: the moon long

down, the fox settled into her den in the middle

pasture below the massive cedar. You listen

to the wind through its blue berried arms and

know for sure that what you hear tonight is true

music, the soughing notes all you need.