In the music is a trumpet. In the trumpet, a man’s breath. The night is littered
with secrets. The path through the dark is lined with manicured hedges that
someone has trimmed to resemble cursive letters of the alphabet.
Gardener infatuated with the beginning and the end.
In the middle is a lone violin. The breath of the instrument is tainted
with the death of a child that we realize is the fault of the crowd.
The crowd hold their hands taut against their ears for what isn’t
missed if they aren’t listening. The trumpet is playing faster.
Metal shears are found in nearby body of water. The innocent, put on trial.
The crowd has carried a piano into the court room and is splintering it
into firewood to burn on the lawn. Final breaths of the sound
nearly exhausted, leave only the single horn
of a barge on the water. Crawling. We are hungry. Have made our way
finally to the table to dine. We attempt to fabricate orchestra with utensils,
beating the surface where the child once ate alongside us before she was
carried away. Night is inevitable
A man tips his instrument to eject its plug of saliva. The hearts of the crowd
count themselves fortunate. I am home, safe, in the shower. In the shower
are bottles of honeysuckle and images of waterfalls.
I hum a little as I soak my back and my legs. These limbs, I pray, will carry me
many more years. My husband plays the music again with its pluck
of wind. With the sorrow of bells and the long walk of children
toward the man holding his breath as if
cupping a hummingbird.
Robyn Hunt is grateful for her Southwestern lineage of confident women who sang in the choir. It is here that she learned to praise. Today she is Development and Communications Director for Las Cumbres Community Services in Santa Fe. Her work appears in various journals. Her debut collection of poems, The Shape of Caught Water, was published in 2013, Red Mountain Press. She maintains a writer’s blog, As Mourning Doves Persist (mourningdovespersist.blogspot.com).