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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Sounds familiar

My sister held on to our old turntable
and all the old records we listened to
through the long Italian opera

of our childhood. So tonight
we sit in the living room with some wine
and Puccini, as the needle scratches

the black door of the past, the air comes to life
with that lovely, cornball melodrama,
and our father is sitting in his chair,

ice cubes clinking in his scotch,
and our mother is in the kitchen
trying to be quiet, trying not to disturb

Maria Callas as she explains
to Tito Gobbi that she has lived for art
and she has lived for love, but it's hard

to fry pork chops and dice an onion
without making a certain amount of noise,
and pretty soon my father is shouting at her,

he's trying to listen to the music
for God's sake, could she for once
show a little respect,

and our mother says nothing,
it's just the same old argument
between ghosts, after all—the music

won't let them sleep—
though it has my sister in tears,
and even Tosca has begun to weep.

- George Bilgere, "Tosca"

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