Medrie Purdham

The Mighty Wurlitzer

The Mighty Wurlitzer1  

O baronet’s birthday cake piano,
once-a-year-eccentric-aunt piano,
razzledazzle toccata lark piano,
played by the sparkling Lance Luce,

chitty-chitty-bang-bang please piano,
strobe light glockenspiel whee piano,
rococo rollercoaster-run piano,
monkeyclapping brazen summernoise,

you fabergé grotto dream piano,
you honkeytonk-and-grogshop spree piano,
you never-yet-met-Mendelssohn piano,
you Von Trapp kid who loved their feral phase,

O shirley temple gremlin fizz piano,
O sleigh-bell-lingo superquiz piano,
for you we left behind our own piano
and hit Toronto in a slow-lane K-car daze.


Medrie Purdham (she/her) lives in Treaty 4, Regina, SK, and is the author of Little Housewolf (Véhicule, 2021), which won a Saskatchewan Book Award and was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and longlisted for the Fred Cogswell Award.

  1. The Mighty Wurlitzer was a very fancy theatrical organ that was the entertainment centrepiece of The Organ Grinder restaurant in Toronto, which closed in 1997. It was accompanied by elaborate musical accessories that were wall-mounted throughout the room: chimes, bubbles, bells, an organ grinder’s monkey, and so forth. ↩︎
Skip to content