78 RPM


by Jeff Daniel Marion

In the back of the junkhouse
stacked on a cardtable covered
by a ragged bedspread, they rest,
black platters whose music once
crackled, hissed with a static
like shuffling feet, fox trot or two-step,
the slow dance of the needle
riding its merry-go-round,
my mother’s head nestled
on my father’s shoulder as they
turned, lost in the sway of sounds,
summer nights and faraway
places, the syncopation of time
waltzing them to a world
they never dreamed, dance
of then to the dust of now. 

 About the Author: 

Jeff Daniel Marion grew up in Rogersville, Tennessee and now serves as poet-in-residence and Director of the Appalachian Center at Carson-Newman College. In 1994 he was honored at the annual literary festival at Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia. In 1996 he delivered the Palmer Memorial Lecture at Cumberland College and in 1998 he was named the Copenhaver Scholar-in-Residence at Roanoke College. He lives in Knoxville with his wife, Linda.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2009 by Jeff Daniel Marion. Reprinted from his most recent book of poems, Father, Wind Publications, 2009, by permission of Jeff Daniel Marion and the publisher.