I hoped that theyd fixed her

and wed renew our routine

the love affair Id had with her

since I was thirteen


but when I opened up the case I found

when theyd replaced the bridge

they put a shiny coat of lacquer

on the old finish that Id ridged

she was a stranger with a facelift

and an unfamiliar smell

and it shattered the connection

I used to love so well


I tried to play her but she was just gone

I didnt know what to do

she sat alone and untouched for many years

but it was just gone

so I let her go


I sold her to a woman

though it nearly broke my heart

a gift for her fianc

though they later split apart

I home someone appreciates

the warm tone and the wood

I hope somebody loves her

because I no longer could


so now I play other instruments

that arent so battle-scared

theyre responsive and expensive

I dont pound them quite as hard

their intonations flawless

if they lack a certain Zen

we have intimate sessions

but they did not know me when


oh god I miss the smell of her

when I open up a case

I guess that cedar and rosewood

just dont transmute time and space

Id track her down and find her

but I still cant get back to

that guitar store in Northampton in 1972


I had a Guild D40

and I wonder where you are



2018 by Rob Siegel. All rights reserved.





04 Guild D40


I had a Guild D40

it was my first real guitar

I was 13 when the salesman

pulled it off the wall

and the sound and feel and smell of her

I knew she was the one

it was the start of a threesome

me and her and Neil Young


she was the stronghold of my sanity

my familiar in the dark

the creator of my calluses

and I wore her finish off

often lonesome and despondent

a walking broken heart

that guitar took all my pounding

transmuting pain to art


but her smell was like a potion

when Id open up the case

the spruce and the mahogany

like incense for my faith

Id take her out and hold her

breathe her essence in

and be back in that guitar store

where our affair began


but we were star-crossed lovers

wed argue and wed fight

I sent her back to Guild four times

her neck was never right

I started seeing other instruments

I guess Im a fickle man

and when her bridge began to pull

I sent her back again


but that smell was the connection

when Id open up the case

the spruce and the mahogany

remembrance of that place

Id do the Marcel Proust thing

catch a whiff and step into

that second-floor guitar store in 1972


a big box arrived on my front porch

I hauled it on inside

my resurrected mail order

problem child bride