Brigitte Byrd from "After the War to End All Wars"

4.

He had been a sickly child looking for birds in the magnolia tree when he heard a sad song on a mysterious instrument. Una melodía de dolor some would say. But the nurse said Maurice, come along and he followed her. Through the double doors. Down the staircase. He remembered to keep his hand on the ramp. The same aching melody grew louder and louder as they reached his father’s library. Doors wide-open. Mother’s stiff back in a dark dress. Father saying Meet Mr. Fa-sol-la. First, he saw the box-shaped instrument then a wiry man’s eyes rolled toward the ceiling. This is an accordion said the nurse. It is difficult to onomatopoeia in a medical uniform. And maybe the sound of it all was magic because he giggled without coughing. How else would he learn to release the notes in his head from a box?


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