For Children

Theo Naylor

One String Short

2008 7th-8th Grade Poetry Winner

silver blue tuning keys
line the neck like the final spikes
of an aging punk's mohawk. I remember it
when it was stickerless
and unplayed,
still going out of tune every five seconds-
elegant and pure
for only a short time

One string short.
spiraling off
like a richocheting bullet,
my one D string
the highest of the lowest
and lowest of the highest
it once was enveloped in a white plastic bridge
covered in miniscule coffee colored spittle stains.
It is sleeping beneath the stripe of blood
i painted on the headstock when i had a spectacular bloody nose.
(reputation is all!)
It's carrying the weight of machinery
and the burdening nightmares
of many playful massacres
fresh in its twisted mind. A few screws loose
my guitar is one string short.