With persistence of fingers on keys,
we are having an argument

my hands holding the accordion
between the breath of birds pulsing

through bellows. Today you are a melody
out of tune. I want to shove a reed

against your mouth and pray
you’ll sing like a canary. But there’s no

valve that offers an apology while both
hands are playing solo. If I cried

at the sign of leaking air, would it be
enough? Will you ever know the difference

between a squeezebox and a beautiful
bandoneon? Sometimes I sit on the edge

of our bed and pray for a righthand manual
but you are a buttonboard kind of man

a musician whose notes hoover over rows
and rows of scales, oblivious to the arrangement

of melody, your perplexity a chromatic conundrum,
wings unfolded without flight, a disappointment

to any lover who might have hoped for song.

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas


Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas is an eight-time Pushcart nominee and four-time Best of the Net nominee. She has authored several chapbooks along with her latest full-length collection of poems, Hasty Notes in No Particular Order (Aldrich Press). She is the 2012 winner of the Red Ochre Press Chapbook competition with her manuscript Before I Go to Sleep and according to family lore she is a direct descendant of Robert Louis Stevenson.

© 2017