SINGING IN THE SHOWER
I don't seem to be able to refrain from singing
when I step into the shower.
Something about the echo-like sound
that my 64-year old vocal chords
produce in that little tiled box
in the corner of the bathroom
tickles me no end.
"I touch your hand and my arms grow strong,
Like a pair of birds that burst in song."
For a while I thought I would never
be able to entertain myself (and my wife)
like that again.
Most people don't know that Parkinson's
can steal away the singing voice---
limit range, destroy the falsetto,
take the heart out of the music.
I used to be a singer,
church and community choirs and choruses,
been King Arthur and Harold Hill and Benny Southstreet
and the Minstrel (..upon a Mattress).
But Parkinson's took that from me.
It was a theft sorely felt.
Then one night,
when I stepped into the shower
for what had become a quiet,
something prompted me to sing,
not like Curly singing "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!"
but like Ezio Pinza,
rolling my 'r's and rounding my o's,
bringing the sound up from the gut,
holding nothing back,
like Pavarotti carrying "Nessun Dorma" over a full orchestra,
not worrying if the noise I was producing could be heard
through three doors and over the sound of the television.
That shower stall worked magic.
My god, I sounded good!
Well, maybe not "good,"
but not bad.
And did I have fun!
That was a long and noisy shower.
I have happily accepted the trade off
of my falsetto
for an ear-splitting but ego-soothing
upper register ending...
"Angel and lover, heaven and earth
Am I, with you."
"When you walk through a storm,
And I'm not.
Keep your chin up high,
And don't be afraid of the dark."
Ken Nye is the author of the Maine-bestselling book of poetry, "Searching for the Spring" and a second book of poetry, "From the Heart," to be released in early June. Nye, a retired Maine high school principal and professor of educational leadership, began writing poetry less than four years ago. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease ten years ago.