Sept. 3, 2019: "Untitled (for Kari)," by Matt Halvorson
Wake up, darling, the time has come
for you to differentiate from me.
I feel like there are things about you that I can’t fathom,
and that you’re wasted underneath this canopy.
I know that growing up has got you on your knees,
with its tendrils wrapped and pulling at your feet.
But the spirals will escape from your cheeks…
from your cheeks.
Excuse me, darling, while I step outside.
The ceiling and the floor are getting close.
I know you said it’s not mine only to decide,
but this seems like something you should do alone.
And while ours may not be the stories that get told,
I know our bodies hold our plans in their folds
to be written in as wrinkles as we grow old…
as we grow old.
I wrote this song in Portland back in 2008 and sent the recording to my sister, Kari, who was living in Sacramento at the time. She recorded some harmonies and sent it back to me, and this recording has sat ever since. It was written from the perspective of a parent gently urging a child to spread their wings and leave the nest. I never came up with a name for the song that seemed to fit, and “Untitled (for Kari)” was the name of the original file I sent to my sister. And it’s been the name of the song ever since.