Fiddle Restoration: She to He

by Sher Schwartz

Read by Sher Schwartz

After the fall, she took my parts to a luthier, neck snapped at the body, cracked, tailpiece missing. His long fingers wove me back together, but still I failed to sing her song again. Instead, a thready reediness resonated from me. Dead for the Celtic melodies seducing the ceilidh. She sold me. No loyalty to my body. Now I lie inside an alligator case resembling a small machine gun. I accompany the bearded old-timey players. The bent-over people. The fungus-hammertoe folk. Whereas I was once held upright, now I’m held low – leaning toward a middle sound projecting inside a private circle, where sour musk breathes, heart beats bellow, boots stomp. His upturned cuff stuffed with cigarettes, torn t-shirt and hot muscles below – she would have felt vertigo when he switched positions to grab for the Jack Daniels. Between tunes he plucks a smoke. Grunts when someone says The Skillet Lickers. He cradles me again, and I brace for the ride. Back throbbing to pound another hoedown while the farmers’ wives wheeze and groan, spin round and round, and kick-ass English mastiffs guard the grange door.

Sher Schwartz is a published essayist, poet, musician, and retired University of Alaska Southeast Assistant Professor of Humanities who lives on a 200-acre historic farm in Eastern Oregon. Her chapbook, The Beautiful One’s Ark, will be published by The Poetry Box in Summer 2024.

International Standard Serial Number
ISSN 2297-3656