Nanna’s accordion
is gathering dust
on a plywood floor
at the top of the stairs.

She got it in ’41,
back when she was just
a child, before the war.
Kids themselves, her heirs

can’t bear its squawking spirit,
its raw asthmatic
rasp, or its wheezing
sick-room breath.

They imagine they hear it,
even from the attic;
a sound once pleasing,
now too much like death.