Hard shell. Soft shell. Molded plastic. Plastic-coated cardboard.
Their telltale shape declares what magic they contain. The gentle feminine curves revealing the carrier to be musically inclined.
I’ve seen them in cars, restaurants, airplanes. In all varieties of travel. I have seen them being held by the handle, cross shoulder by the strap, worn as a backpack.
As a child I remember my mom’s clearly. The small hinges intriguing to my small fingers, I would unclasp the buckles, one at a time. Sometimes I would forget the one on the bottom curve. Why won’t you open? Then my little mind would grasp my omission and I would unbuckle the last causing the case to open.
What was inside?
First, a big, wooden curved instrument. Pleasing prospect, the case matches its occupant. Delicate strings adorning its face. Gut or metal both able to resonate the notes needed. Plink! goes the string as I pinch one. I strum across the face, a nice tone emits.
Removing the instrument reveals a small hidden door. I lift it. Inside lurks extra strings. Aw, more treasure, some picks. Little plastic novelties. I choose one based on size and color. I run it across the strings, another soft strum occurs.
So much promise contained within a guitar case.
Jacob the Man
Jacob, the man, has turned 21
When help is needed to you he runs.
Not away, but towards the fire,
To fear no captive he.
His prayers ascend from his lips,
his movements match his love.
Present and aware,
He fully enters in.
And when all is safe,
he’ll sit satisfied and true,
Crack some silly jokes
With smile beaming broad.
And all because a man from Galilee
reigns in his heart.
Off plane, we catch a taxi, diesel fumes assault my nose,
Twitching and inhaling as if awakened from a doze.
The mind alert and smiling, enjoying each new sense
We have left Oklahoma and I’m five in Great Britain.
She walks me over London to parks some with water, some just green.
She takes us to the changing of the Guard, I make a scene.
“Forward march!” they do yell, “Forward fart!” I echo well.
Her hand clamps upon my arm, the Brits are thinking, Bloody hell!
She must be American, but look she’s just a tot.
Angry stares subside, we decamp from the spot.
After tea, after nap, after yawning in the bed,
Adventures await us to see treasures of which we’ve read.
The vibrant colors of the jewels, the ghostly figures at Tussauds,
A dollhouse made for royalty I love the best of them all.
Small, stuffed tennis teddy bears, another in lace gown,
my tomboy nature takes a nap as I gaze around.
And all I know in the angry, tear-streaked years that followed,
was I wish I could have stayed in that flat in London.