Heart Jukebox – a poem by Thomas R. Smith

Heart Jukebox

For years I was aware of music
coursing through me when I woke at night,
some song I know well or only a little
playing in me as if from an interior
jukebox.  I always said I heard
those tunes in my head, but this morning
at 4 a.m., lying awake feeling
that most beautiful song from West
Side Story, “Somewhere,” take complete
hold of me with unutterable sweetness —
Hold my hand and we’re halfway there —
I knew I’d had it wrong, that instead
it was my physical heart like some bird
with a vast repertoire taken
up residence in my chest, from which
the song was pulsing in rapturous
waves, as would others, many
others, day and night without pause,
always singing, whether or not I was
listening, the song that is my life.

Thomas R. Smith lives in western Wisconsin and teaches at the Loft literary Center in Minneapolis,  Minnesota.  His most recent books are Medicine Year (Paris Morning Publications) and Poetry on the Side of Nature: Writing the Nature Poem as an Act of Survival (Red Dragonfly Press).  He posts poems and blogs at www.thomasrsmithpoet.com.

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