Pennsylvania 6-5000

Yesterday was my sister’s birthday! So I thought I would share a poem I wrote in college about listening to Glenn Miller in our basement with our Bubbe. The week I wrote this poem, my poetry class with T.J. Anderson had a discussion about the symbolism of the color green. T.J., as he liked us to call him despite having his doctorate, is an incredible man who used to instruct us to stand on large rocks and proclaim poetry out into nature. While I enjoyed poetry before I started taking his classes– after learning from T.J., my soul yearned for it. Our discussion on the color green gave this poem depth and a doorway for me to mention my Bubbe’s Alzheimer’s– green the color of fresh new creativity, and in Shakespeare the color of magic, fairies, and whimsy. Its symbolism is ultimately coincidental: the armchair really was green and the fake leather really was peeling. Nevertheless, this poem holds a memory I cherish.

Pennsylvania 6-5000

Kylie Louise McCormick

        Lying flat on the red carpet in my basement,
listening to the likes of Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey pour out the taller-than-
        me speakers, while my Bubbe sat in the green
arm chair with its peeling away fake leather and her slipping memory,
        my sister and I floated away.
 I saw the gleam in her eyes, as the horns curved and turned
         through each note.
She can name each one by sound alone.
         I lay next to her, watched that magic happen: the music twist and turn
through her mess of curls,
         made its way to that ear that has carried all my secrets
and burdens.
         I wanted to feel like she felt
I wanted to possess her reason of music
         I wanted the horns to sing my name like they were chanting hers.

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