Sunday, June 22, 2008


Boy with Cello

Rescued from a pawn shop
where it stood for years
with its neck broken, body nicked
and stripped of strings

it arrives in a box
restrung, refurbished
and the boy cradles it in his arms
the way one holds a sleeping child,
fingers caressing ever so slightly,
breath the only sound.

Then the boy takes the bow,
pulls it across the strings,
and the cello begins to tell its story,
each deliberate stroke a query
the cello answers in its clear, resolute voice.

When does love begin? The first note,
or the second, in the lonely corner,
the unopened box, the Beethoven the boy
absorbed while still in the womb?

Perhaps in the merging of one’s half-
formed dream and the other’s awakening,
when one speaks without speaking
and the other begins to sing.

- Irene Latham

The movie we saw last night - Get Smart - featured Beethoven's Ode to Joy. It was a fun movie, and the big orchestra scene reminded me of this poem. I wrote it a few years ago when my son first start playing the cello.

Speaking of joy: I am off to poetry workshop in just a bit, and I've got three poems ready to workshop. This, after a sizeable drought brought on by my work on the novel. I'm so excited!

"Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got."

- Janis Joplin

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