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Alongside Babylon’s rivers
    we sat on the banks; we cried and cried,
    remembering the good old days in Zion.
Alongside the quaking aspens
    we stacked our unplayed harps;
That’s where our captors demanded songs,
    sarcastic and mocking:
    “Sing us a happy Zion song!”  – Psalm 137:1-3, MSG

A keyless, noteless, lyricless
Chanson is known only by its
Annual wedding anniversaries –
Twenty-two sequential somber
Returns out of fifty minus one.
August thirteen’s forty-ninth
Return reopens invisible chronic
Wounds then heightens their pain
While displacing summer nuptials’
Joy – much like how a Blues style
Syncopation de-emphasizes strong
Beats and accentuates weak beats.
La-la stopped meaning ‘love you’
Three decades, three months after
Delfonics earned a place on Soul’s
International map with baby talk –
A young male’s frequent utterance.
Life has repositioned love’s dynamic
Downbeat – relocated to an upbeat
Spot known as the joke’s on me –
Where misery’s stereophonic sound
Drowns out all hope of loving anew.
Sorrow is the song my soul has
Sung each year for a score plus
Two years – after my divorce,
Which unleashed a whirlwind of
Emotions that mark my life as a
Sad survivor of a modern tragedy.
-      composed August 13, 2020