we filched mom’s violin out of the trash…


we three young boys, a gray winter day

on the high plains as winds blew down onto kansas

from the snow-capped colorados.


we found a berm away from the house

and from mom who might spot us

and then spank us — we never knew.


wind blew all the colors but gray away as

we huddled down into the dead grass, cold dirt,

looking for harmony, rhythm and a bit of warmth.


each of us took turns scraping and sawing

the half-strung bow over screeching strings

beneath the winds’ bitter-cold keening


unaware that we were damned to search

through music and painting and poetry

when what we needed was that bit of warmth.


Published by


I've been writing mostly poetry for many years and have gotten a number of works accepted in publications and anthologies. I'm most interested in communicating with poets for whom craft is a high priority. I enjoy finding and commenting on poetic gems in other people's work. For my own work, I welcome polite comments, whether positive or critical.

14 thoughts on “we filched mom’s violin out of the trash…”

  1. What a lovely poem… I can almost see these young three boys… Memories, inspiration and poetry… Beautiful poem. Do you know dear Michael, my mom was playing violin before my birth… I never heard her music and never saw a picture of her playing violin and also there wasn’t a violin too in the home… But my grandmother told me she was playing so beautiful violin… I remembered now. Again. Thank you, Love, nia


    1. nia, that is an interesting coincidence that both of our mothers played the violin. i hadn’t known about my mother playing violin either. unexplained mysteries. i wonder if most people have mothers who are mysterious is some ways. they are so powerful in our lives, but in some ways we never really knew them. thanks for your encouraging comments. –michael

      Liked by 2 people

    1. carrie, i am glad that i was able to communicate some of the emotions that evidently i have been carrying around all of these years. frankly, i was worried that the last line was too direct. reading your comment makes me think that maybe it works, after all. i am grateful that you read my poetry.–michael


  2. I really like the image you have developed of the three little boys sneaking and wondering. It is really such a searching, plaintive end. The last three stanzas are magical.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i’m grateful for your positive response to the poem. it is based on a still-clear memory from about 65 years ago. as i worked on the poem, trying to figure out what the incident means to me and why i still remember it, i discovered some things about myself and my family.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is amazing to me how these kind of memories surface so obliquely, but powerfully, through poetry. part art, part therapy maybe? For me at least!


  3. I enjoyed how you built this poem, various images at play, and how it is based on a touching memory. I remember when I was ten years old we moved and my father decided it would be too expensive to bring my mother’s piano. I think a part of her perished.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I read the poem first and then went back and listened to you read it – what a treat! From the title I thought it was going to be humorous but it quickly turned into something more powerful. The last stanza brought it to a finish to reveal what could not be spoken. It is amazing that some of the darkest memories or insignificant ones perhaps that stay with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. what a wonderful comment! thanks so much. it’s also good to read that you listened to the audio file, and that it was a positive experience for you. i sometimes wonder if anyone takes the time to listen. in any case, i’ll keep posting the audio files because I believe that poetry should be heard, as well as read. again, much gratitude.

    Liked by 1 person

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