Important Recording


The Mike Schneider Polka Band

Never knew the compulsion, the why-the-hell,
Dad turned on that radio station each Sunday
while he prepared dinner and fiddled with
a balky carburetor there at the kitchen table.
No, it wasn’t his old-timey Country-Western music
he played when there still was a Western to it.
This music polka’d around the house on tuba oompahs,
accordion wheezes, clarinet giggles and trumpet yodels.
It became as much a part of his and my Sundays as
missing Mass and enjoying the perfume of the cloves
and ginger on the ham or in the sauerbraten.

I eventually asked, “Why d’you listen to this every Sunday?”
And dad would barely look up from his glass of beer
and auto part, and say, “It’s important. Just wait.”
Somewhere in the middle of the next bouncy tune,
the middle-aged DJ (which stood for Deutsche Jockey, I guess)
would pod the music down and say in a middling German accent,
“Dis is an im-pawt-ed re-kawd-ing,” and the music would swell
until the next tune, which sounded a lot like the previous five.
My Old Man would look at me with those sapphire lasers and dead-pan,
“See? An im-pawt-ent recording.” Then he’d grin and interject
through the rest of the program, “Hey, you want to keep it down?
This is an important recording.” Dad was a teaser, not one
for jokes, but when he had one, it never got old to him.

Or, apparently, to me.

Poem(ish) #28 of this year’s Poem-A-Day April marathon. This one is in response to a prompt calling for an “Important (Something)”-titled poem. Probably should have left it in block form, but here’s the true story of two guys named Joe Hesch simmering in their genetic memories and an “Important {Father/Son}(Something).”

One thought on “Important Recording

  1. Maybe your dad knew, that one day those would be your memories. German humour is pretty dry, but cloves and ginger..nice touch. 🙂

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