Shadorma: Solo

She’s so small
Up on stage, alone:
Just her bow
Her fiddle
And three hundred eyes on her.
Nothing we can do

Or say now:
It’s all down to her.
She holds us,
This whole room,
In her little hands and gaze.
A cough. Then silence.

The first notes
From the piano.
Shakes her head –
No: too fast.
The grown-up nods, starts again.
Yes, good. Attagirl.

Long F sharp.
All around the hall
Eyes widen
Mouths open.
She’s got them. Won’t let go till
She’s good and ready.

No idea
How she’s doing this:
So poised, cool,
In control;
And all the while there’s this sound
Sent straight from heaven

So it seems.
I can barely breathe.
No more my
Baby girl:
She owns this place, this moment.
And so it begins.


My daughter performed Massenet’s ‘Meditation from Thais‘ at her school concert on Thursday evening. We’d heard her practising it at home, of course, but like all great performers, she saved her best for the big night. She played it on my father’s old fiddle, and it was great that he was there to hear it, too. Have to say that from my childhood recollections, it never sounded like that when he played it…N.

9 thoughts on “Shadorma: Solo

  1. Wonderful poem, Nick. I have had similar moments with our children. You sit in the audience, outside the sphere of their immediacy, and then, suddenly, outside the family circle, they shine in some way, letting their parents seeing them in a new way. This Shadorma captures that perfectly. I am sure your daughter and wife loved it.

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