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Enter the Bassoon

John Davis


You naughty boy, you 

bedpost with bad indigestion.

Someone is tonguing you, buzzing you,

running a Hungarian rhapsody through you.

You puff-a-puff noise, call it notes

of a wind ensemble. They are grunts

of a pig. Someone has let a pig

control the woodwind section

and we are supposed to believe 

that it’s music rather than a pigpen 

bumping with critters, snorting in the mud.

But what’s this: someone has opened

her mouth, rolled her lips inward,

covered her teeth around your reed,

dropped her jaw to yawn without

yawning, and now the flutter-

tonguing of hummingbird wings

among cardinal flowers, now the soulful

voice of a baritone rolling his r’s,

now the rain on leaves of mountain maple

where you were born.


John Davis is the author of Gigs and The Reservist. His work has appeared in DMQ Review, Iron Horse Literary Review and He lives on an island in the Salish Sea and performs in several bands.


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