Playing for time

Thrown together for a weary Sunday
We dug out flute and fiddle,
Coaxed the stand from its collapsed-umbrella tangle
And played dance music
Nine times older than her ten
And my forty-something years combined.
Splitting first and second parts unselfishly,
Spinning the simple, timeless tunes
From breath and horsehair,
Varnished wood and tarnished silver,
Our thoughts as closely mingled
As our blood.

All too soon
To be in the same room
As me may be
More than she can bear.
But in all the discord
Of our crescendos, fortissimos
And silences where no one’s sure
If they should clap
Or dare to cough
The neutral notes and impartial time
Will be our arbiters;
A shared and secret language for us, free
Of should and shan’t and
A separate space outside of life
Where all is sweet,
And we can stay in tune.

7 thoughts on “Ensemble

    • You’re right; it’s one of the great joys and privileges of life. I just hope it survives the teenage years, which seem to be galloping up on us now! Many thanks for your comment; glad you liked it.

  1. These are the moments you will both remember in the years to come irrelevant of the ups and downs on the journey.

    A poem like this to capture it says much more than a photo ever could

    • Thank you David – we have our Community Orchestra rehearsal tonight, which is another lovely thing we can do together, and I hope will remain so as she gets older and more worldly-wise. What makes it even more special is that my dad has now joined as well (he’s a fiddle-player like her) – I bet the London Symphony Orchestra can’t claim three generations of the same family in its august ranks!

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