Broom in hand, he glances up at her
as she saunters by the grocery store;
same time each day, on purpose,
he hopes.  This day, she sweeps her hair
off the curve of her cheek, tilts
her head towards him and claims
him with her eyes.  In that moment,
he knows he can never resist 
the magnetic pull
that weds the two of them;
she, barely out of high school,
he, a would-be musician.

Their first years together are
sultry improvisations and interlude.
Over the course of some thirty years,
their sheet music mellows;
changes from combo to choir,
and then, too early, to requiem.

He never gets the chance to kiss
the soft cheeks of his grandchildren,
to teach them old jazz standards
or how to identify instruments
by their sound.

She donates his saxophone
to the high school band; melody
and memory too intertwined.
Time for a new composition.