To Listen (to the Subtle Stirrings)


My name is the syncopated beat

Of a dotted eighth note, sixteenth note

Rocking like a boat on windy waters


My laugh is the swoop of glissando

Sometimes a delicate slide

Mostly the guffaw of comedic release


My day is the tedium of tremolo

Rapid repetition; a scheduled affair

Punctuated by the half rest of sleep


But don’t be lulled, or even fooled

Into complacence

Into the mere satisfaction of definition


Instead listen closer, listen longer

Into quandary

Into the subtle nuance of connotation


Hear the crinkly ting of triangle

The rustle of a turned page

Of thousands of printed black words


Hear the countermelody of viola

Lifting her friend, the violin

Through a melancholy E minor


Hear the tenacity of the tuba

Doggedly perusing the high note

Of a grade, a competition, a career


For though I am defined by music

Dictated by the sharp black outline

Of written notes on a staff


I am made up of the instruments

Who paint the textured curves

Of my hopes and dreams


I am made up of the musicians

Who listen for subtle stirrings

Of an entire symphony


In this crafted cacophony of life

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