At the Winter Concert

Surrounded by singers –
young, hopeful and trembling,
most off-key, all so desperate not to lose the rhythm,
scotch the words, miss that note –
I wince as only one who’s drowned
in music’s clear bright beauty can.
But still, to lift one’s voice in song,
whether in pure and flawless rill or rasp of midnight croakers,
is to twice praise: affirm the life divine.
For this, then, I forgive them.
And then I am thrown back to a different world, a different life.
I have no memories of the kind these kids will keep
because music was and is the very air to me.
From my first breath I opened wide and out poured hymn –
a gift bestowed, perhaps, to compensate
for dimmed, crossed eyes and shoulders round and wretched teeth.
These children will never stand before the world
and know the wild applause that only the determined,
ruthless and anointed claim as owed them.
I knew it once, and listening to these voices
I know I have been too long gone from melody.
Is it any wonder that I languish, dull and uninspired,
having left the sphere that nourishes my soul?
I must go now in search of Euterpe
and humbly beg to borrow her bright cloak once more.

© 2012 RC deWinter ~ All Rights Reserved

At the Winter Concert

RC deWinter

Fairfield, United States

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Artist's Description

On the necessity of music in life.

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