The Record

The Record

The first boy in high school who stole
my heart also stole record albums. He’d
buy one, then exit Grand Way’s auto-doors.
They’d re-open, beckon him back to finger

through racks of LPs, slip another into
his slim square bag. I still have the one he
gave me, merged with others in milk crates
that once braced dorm-room shelves,

my broken turntable beneath boxes in the
basement. I met him when you could still
hold music in your hands, before it shrunk
to 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs, and now just 

digital pulses. John Barleycorn Must Die
is the one I remember. The title song,
a British folktale about a murder was
really about the harvest of tiny grains into 

something more potent. We sat on the porch
steps. He nudged the record toward me – the
cover resembled a burlap sack, the tied barley
stalks in the center–a bouquet. 

Nancy Lubarsky

Photo: Immo Wegmann on Unsplash

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