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As I Crawled Home to Die

02.27.13 Posted in today's words by

Gaines Isaac Milligan was born July 26, 1943 in Chattanooga TN, and after many lonely struggles, he left in 1976 as a homeless accordionist. Since then he has accumulated a house, 100 accordions, a small family, and various predictable accoutrements. Prior to becoming a street accordionist, he sometimes lived in caves and took sustenance from the land and good will. He has worked as a piano tuner, bicycle messenger, pizza deliverer, real estate yard sign installer, and real estate agent. He also repairs, tunes, and restores old accordions. Gaines is recent to writing.

As I Crawled Home to Die

By Gaines Milligan

Beautiful music everywhere,
As I crawled home to die.
I finally won the lottery
The uncashed ticket in my fist.

Schiller’s “Ode to Joy”
Played on my radio, Beethoven’s Ninth
Sung by half-crazed German farmers
And their maniacal soprano wives.

“Don’t jazz me, I’m music,” it seemed to say.
Sweet as the roses of Picardy,
The syncopated major third
Timed to echo the last heartbeat

Of Beethoven soaking in his hot tub
To stave off his procrastinated end.
I got to finish this last symphony
Was his rasion d’etre.

Listening to the waves,
I rolled up to my house.
No one there could understand
My English prophecy of doom.

Dogs and people from the future
Moved to let the door open.
And they are lucky not to know
Except their atom of the stars.

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