Excerpt from Chlora’s Book of the Month Club: April
Draft 1, copyright 2010 Ginger Henry Geyer
...It is Easter Sunday and Chlora is at church...
The Good Book contains
four Gospel accordions,
as Chlora well knew,
and this reading was from
the Gospel accordion to John
where Mary Magdalene went to the
empty tomb and found Jesus out gardening.
But he’d gotten himself so dirty
he told her not to touch him.
Mary Magdalene was always involved
in an attract/repel dynamic.
She was honored by Jesus himself
to be the first one
to see him risen,
but later on those misogynists
turned her into a prostitute
just because she tried to touch him.
That push-pull technique was also
the way to play an accordion,
which Chlora looked forward
to doing at the picnic this afternoon.
...After church, Chlora greets the trumpet soloist and they discuss instruments:
The trumpeter asked Chlora
if she’d ever played a horn,
and she said no, because
tooting her own horn was impolite.
However, she had a nice toy accordion.
And it could honk as well as a horn
and it was really swell at mimicking
a whole hive of bees.
It was her main squeeze, that accordion,
and it did the push-pull thing
better than Hans Hofmann
or even Mary Magdalene.
The man suggested Chlora try Beethoven
on her toy accordion.
Even if she played Beethoven badly
it didn’t mean Beethoven was a bad composer.
To divert the brouhaha,
Chlora grabbed her accordion
and ran to the front of the protest parade.
She could drown them out.
She had always wanted to be a one-man band,
but instrumentation was difficult especially if
you were a one-man marching band.
It’d be easier to be a sitting band with tom-tom,
xylophone, kazoo, cymbals, and tambourine.
She could do the big cymbals with her feet
and hang the tambourine on her shoulder
and play all of these at once.
But the accordion was good enough,
as you could squeeze all sorts of sounds
in and out of one box.
Chlora pushed and pulled the bellows
right between two boys who looked like
they were going to start a fight.
What were they thinking? They were
both members of the same club.
She kept making the wheezy noise
and pushing all the buttons
till some sort of tune came out
and the small children from all over
the park ran over to dance around her.
Cute beats ugly every time.
…after that Chlora escapes from the hubbub and plays in the creek…
Chlora squatted down by the stream
and eased the peanut-buttered basket
containing Raggedy Andy into the water.
She was pleased that Andy was cooperating,
posing as Baby Moses.
The basket bobbed around in the
current and twirled. It floated!
It moved downstream, staying the course
and getting way ahead of her
as she trotted along the bank.
She quickly thought of a
and began playing a tune on her accordion:
Row, Row, Row your boat
gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
life is but a dream
But that dream dissipated
as the Moses basket listed to the far right.
...at the end of the Easter picnic story, Chlora steps on a bee, is rescued by a kid from the other side. She reciprocates by serenading him and giving all that she has…
Her foot still hurt where the bee stung her.
But Lady Julian of Norwich,
who was quoted in
the Easter Sunday bulletin had said,
All shall be well, and all shall be well,
and all manner of things shall be well.
This was good news, and it should be spread.
She revved up the gospel accordion again.
It squawked and squeaked
but even with Chlora
garbling the verses, it got the point across.
Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee,
Opening to the sun above.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flowery meadow, flashing sea,
Teach us how to love each other,
Call us to rejoice in Thee.
She positioned the accordion
beside Andy and the basket,
to give the gift some more potential.
Chlora grinned from the inside out
and continued skipping around
her Easter contribution,
a wider circle each round,
making a hippity hoppity flippy noise….
a bit off-rhythm due to her limp.