Monday, September 26, 2011

The Violin Lesson

Elva, my daughter’s violin teacher, ages well inside her music,
her losses and grieving; parents, husband and two daughters.
Giving herself through teaching to reach the shores of living.

Her nerves begin to shake her head at eighty. “If the notes are going up don’t go down.
Hold your bow hand right. Make a circle with your hand. Pay attention.
If you keep snoring Sadie,” her sheltie, laying on the floor snoozing
to Themes and Variations.

There, above her black Baldwin
is a black and white photo of her young self in a long gown
holding a violin on her lap, bow across it too.
She is stunning and self possessed.
She flaunts her talent and sizzles in frozen monotones.
Her skin's pale porcelain against the dark she is performing off stage:
hidden behind her austerity, beauty crackles, sparking the dust of time.

I often contemplate this past woman
while her hands play over the keys, 
centuries' of the dead's revolving notes,
reflecting off the gloss black, the glass of the photo,
her living and dead daughter further on down the wall.

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