My father came from a city of old rooftops sprawled across seven hills. Within these hills were tribal Gods carved into metamorphic rock. When he built us a home, that home was new & imported. Veined, marble tiles from Italy. Wood furniture from the hollows of North Carolina. He loved what was new, but filled our home with polished rocks from deep within the fossil record. They spoke their language to him. His head was always cocked as if listening. We often sat around the diamond tip on the needle of his record player listening to Peer Gynt. He pursued the perfection of sound. A heavy, blinking compact disc player hidden away from visitors in a dedicated room. He’d shut himself in to listen to Mozart on a silver disc, stood in the middle of the room to conduct St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields. A few months after he passed away, my mother fished into the pocket of a coat he wore when travelling to the West. She pulled out a packet of cut diamonds.
This poem shares a title with a musical piece by Edvard Grieg, from the classical album Peer Gynt.