Dear String Bass

The bass, no matter what kind of music you are playing, it just enhances the sound and makes everything sound more beautiful and full. When the bass stops, the bottom kind of drops out of everything.

Charlie Haden

Dear String Bass,

You weren’t my first love;
that was the piano,
but you quickly became
my forever love.

I met you in the 9th grade
as a blind date because I was expecting the cello –
the instrument I had requested.
I was destined for another;
I was destined for you.

As a shy teenager, you made me stand out.
It was scary at first, but as I supported you on my leg,
you supported me In ways beyond my imagination.

You helped me grow as a musician,
as a person, as myself.

We spent so many hours together
practicing in the basement of the music wing.
I would play my scales and pieces
over and over until there were calluses on my fingers,
and my arm tired of pulling the bow across the strings.

I wanted to be good, but you called me to be better.
I became section leader, and
you gave me the courage to audtion for All-City Orchestra,
You came with me to The Academy of Music, and
as the curtain went up and
I played those first notes with the string ensemble
you calmed my nerves with the familiar feel
of your strong strings and your melodious deep voice.
I can remember it like it was yesterday.

You came with me to college as I started my studies
to become a music teacher.
Then we ventured into the world of parish music ministry.
We played for Sunday Mass, wedding, funerals,
and other special occasions.

We had a good run.

You gave me over 30 years
of your steadfast presence and so many musical memories.
Then it became harder for me to make you sing.
Arthritis and other ailments made it difficult –
difficult to stand and support you –
difficult to hold down your thick strings –
difficult to carry you from place to place.

But that’s OK.
I’m ready to let you go.
I want you to know that I will always be grateful
for the world you opened up to me –
for teaching me to love Bach, & Hayden
Handel & Mozart.

Maybe it’s time for me to really let you go –
to free you from your place next to the piano –
to pass you to the next musician
who can give life to your voice once more.

Love you always,
Rita

This poem was inspired by “Dear Basketball” by Kobe Bryant. I was reminded of his poem while participating in the 5-Day Poetry Challenge on ethicalela.com

3 thoughts on “Dear String Bass

  1. Rita,
    I can almost hear your bass responding to your love and experience over all those years.
    Your instrument is an extension of your personality. It is your soul. It will always be with you. ❤️ Judy

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rita, you are in good form with your recent poems! I very much appreciated both. Although I don’t have your same ailments I’ve had my own in the past 2 years so I empathize with having to let go. Thanks, Rita

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s