Great Composers of the American Popular Song

A window opens on a forest: trees, moonlight, a path. You’ve been here before: the knot in a pine becomes a long-lost face, the veil of leaves a scarf of blue silk. You startle a flock of birds into flight and their cries echo a song playing in a tiny room wreathed in cigarette smoke. Through the window, the man at the piano sees a large house in a small town, his grandmother’s tulips, the fall of his sister’s hair. At the word song his eyes meet yours and his fingers pause on the keys: birds over a starlit canyon.




Lina Chern lives in Chicago and writes on her cellphone, sitting in traffic. She has written stories, poems, trivia questions, superhero dialogue, trashy paranormal romances, and one short crime novel.

Photo Credit: andi solo

3 Responses to “Great Composers of the American Popular Song”

  1. Lisa Koebler says:

    She stared at the houses all congregated together, cold and inaccessible like a parishioner’s hypocritical glance and plastic smile. The windows in the distance mimicked the fixed and unblinking look of those who attentively listened to the monotone sermon by the rotund pastor in the golden robe.

    She tried to belong but the rules of engagement left her empty and anxious. “How does a community come together when fear dictates attitudes of those who claim to live a life filled with compassion and empathy?” she thought. Frustrated, she tucked her raggedy scarf in her second hand coat. And walked.

  2. RevHJC says:


  3. Letina Kelly says:

    This is exquisite. I enjoyed every second of reading it.

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