Violin
Consignment to generations of extremes (hell-
acious attics, flooded basements) split its
maple carapace, warped the fingerboard.  To sell
it, we’d have to find the bridge, other bits
of ebony.
                 My wife’s aunt played it as a child,
the nurse whose snagged scarf dragged her down
a Manhattan subway tunnel.  Or was it the wild
one, failed nun with her hats, flowered gowns,
and cruise ships?
                             Mittenwald, 1820
and Mathias Neüner’s signature staring out
the f-hole.  Because the bow is stamped Otto
Wünderlich, it’s worth more—the hundred and fifty
(exactly) horsetail hairs sprung like the plush
frizz you’d pluck from an older woman’s brush.
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