amos: amos finds an harmonica

By Gary Mitchell

Editor’s note: Amos is a church mouse, who types by hopping on the computer keyboard keys, but he can’t operate the capital shift, and he shuns punctuation marks – except dashes and hyphens.

amos finds an harmonica

boss i was strolling out behind
the music store next to the
church building the other day
and i stumbled across this metal
object with square holes on the side

what s this says me to
freddy the flea who happened
to be hopping alongside of me

beats me says he maybe it s a
bus turned topsy-turvy

yeah or maybe it s a round house
that s lost its swervy says bertie
woeworm just wiggling by what
are we talking about and
why says the doom-and-gloom guy

this strange metal-and-wood
contraption says me
exasperatedly

maybe it s an apartment building
for aphids says sammy salamander
who floated nearby

it s an harmonica says wise old
oliver owl didn t you creatures
ever study music and art
appreciation

all i studied was feline
detestation says me

and all i learned was boredom
sourdom and pessimism says bertie

and i learned to play on
all the world s great
waterways says sammy

so how do you play
this musical thing says me

you huff and puff and puff
and huff until you make
musical notes and stuff
says ollie owl

it sounds like it was made
for big bad wolves and not
for little gray mice says me

try it amos make it sing
says freddy and sammy
with a harmonious ring

so boss i huffed and i puffed
and i puffed and i huffed but to no
avail the harmonica silently snickered at me with snaggled teeth till i turned
pale but boss i took a deep breath
and blew with all my mousey might and a sound came out i nearly
passed out from fright all my
friends ran for cover and then
wanted to know when it was over

but i began to learn how
to play by breathing out
and breathing in i couldn t
make the blues sound but i
could make my voice quiver

inside the harmonica box
cover i found the instructions and how to play such favorites as kum bah yah and when the saints go marchin in
i learned to play kum bah yah but only part of the saints song

after a couple of weeks
of kum bah yah over and
over again the music critics
crept out of the woods boss

don t you know any hymns
says the leader of the
ladybug choir

you need to learn some
contemporary songs says
willifred the white rat

what about some good ol
country music or rock n roll
says manfred the millipede

stop playing those goofy
choruses and learn some
classic dignified hymns
cried clara centipede stamping
all thirty-two of her little feet

boss i had to drag myself and
my harmonica to safety
and i began to practice in
the catacombs underneath
the church pew underworld

you see all i wanted to do
was to learn some music
to praise and worship jesus

amos