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THOMAS LYNCH

 

 

 

Thomas LynchThomas Lynch is a funeral director and writer. He is the author of five collections of poems and three collections of essays including The Undertaking, which won The American Book Award, The Heartland Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Apparition and Late Fictions – A Novella and Stories, was published in 2010 to critical acclaim. His work has been the subject of two documentary films: the PBS Frontline film of “The Undertaking,” broadcast nationwide in 2007, won the 2008 Emmy Award for Arts & Culture Documentary; and Cathal Black’s film, “Learning Gravity,” aired in the UK and Ireland. Mr. Lynch has taught with Wayne State University Department of Mortuary Science, with the graduate program in writing at University of Michigan and the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. His most recent book, The Good Funeral -- Death, Grief and the Community of Care, was co-authored with the theologian, Thomas G. Long.  Thomas Lynch lives in Michigan and in Moveen, Co. Clare, Ireland.  

 

 

 

 Accordion

 

We’d been invited to a

neighborhood do:

a graduation maybe,

or a barbecue.

We were underdressed,

the missus and me,

but I had my accordion

which is, unfailingly,

a compensation.

Whatever happened

there was this shoot—

like the slides

we played on

in our childhoods.

It ascended

from the center of

the neighbors’ yard

into the heavens

beyond the sky

like a spiral staircase

without the steps.

And it came into my brain

they’d like to hear something

from the topmost

heights of it.  So

I began to climb

on all fours

with the accordion

on my back

wheezing out the

occasional chord,

myself huffing

and puffing with the

baffling labor of it;

my wife’s sweet face

gaping heavenward,

the locals wide-eyed

with the spectacle. Everything

was shaky at the top

which I accomplished.

I know that for sure.

Though I can’t for the

life of me remember

what number I played them,

or the applause that

would have just as

certainly followed.

We were fairly winded,

the accordion and me,

what with the whole performance.

                                       

 

©2015 Thomas Lynch

 

 

Author Links

 

Thomas Lynch home page

Poetry & a personal essay by Thomas Lynch at Bear River Writers' Conference

Poetry Foundation: poems & articles about Thomas Lynch

Thomas Lynch at Salmon Poetry

 

 

 

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