A Violin Leaves Home: the Night Before

Midnight’s wheeling down
from the clouds. Careless traffic
humming to itself. Stars
tap against the window screen
and the day already forgets itself.
The peaceful part
was when the light relaxed
and lay down on the mountain, finch time,
last flight before it all
goes blue: the streets, the canyons,
the past. Time
in a minor key, a few notes
and on it goes with ticking
in the wood. Such pleasure
is hard earned. Hours of practice
for the perfect seconds
when the bow is drawn in harmony
with darkness. The instrument
is lifetimes old. Listen,
the strings are so happy
they can’t tell a concert hall from
a frontier town café
where a gipsy plays past closing time
convinced that if he plays all night

he could retune the border.



David Chorlton
Painting: Marc Chagall

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