The thrum of guitar strings
resonates richly in
the hollow wood of his Martin guitar,
then drifts up the stairs,

my father’s rooster crow 
to let me know 
he is awake.
And music loves company.

I stumble downstairs.
It’s too early for a teenager
on a Saturday, but I find my own
guitar in the corner.
Play this.
Wait, tell me what you’re doing.
He shakes his head.
Just watch.
And now I know
that this is the way
a parent
teaches a child, 
by forging ahead.
In time, I will learn to keep up.

Many years now, since
those coerced duets,
Funny how the tone
of acoustic guitar in my ears
will always be the sound of home.
To my father I would say:
You are worthy. You belong.
Music is our love language,
will always write you songs.