I Cannot Sing

I Cannot Sing
by Edward Nathaniel Harleston

I cannot sing, because when a child,
My mother often hushed me.
The others she allowed to sing,
No matter what their melody.

And since I’ve grown to manhood
All music I applaud,
But have no voice for singing,
So I write my songs to God.

I have ears and know the measures,
And I’ll write a song for you,
But the world must do the singing
Of my sonnets old and new.

Now tell me, world of music,
Why I cannot sing one song?
Is it because my mother hushed me
And laughed when I was wrong?

Although I can write music,
And tell when harmony’s right,
I will never sing better than when
My song was hushed one night.

Fond mothers, always be careful;
Let the songs be poorly sung.
To hush the child is cruel;
Let it sing while it is young.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: