The Orchestra

May 21, 2010
She sits in the chair,
instrument in hand,
wondering what today will bring.

She tries to remember...
Has she practiced?
No. Does she ever? Who knows?

Her stand partner arrives.
She greets him with a smile,
and together, they begin to play.

Slowly the black seats fill in
everyone walks by her and says hello
she smiles, gives hugs, and makes the occasional polite conversation.

The white haired conductor arrives.
He says hello—as does she—
and the rehearsal formally begins.

Everyone plays
loudly and quickly,
but it s not good enough.

The conductor stops
A troubled look
Upon the wrinkled brow

They tune and tweak their notes.
Play it slower,
and try better dynamics.

He is still not pleased.
They rehearse for hours, but
with no avail

Will they ever get it right?
A-ha! The charm comes on the third time.
A few more times, and its beautiful.

They don't play the last note,
the grand finale.
They save it for the concert.

The night comes,
Dressed like them:
All in black with occasional sparkles.
The stars hang on her like diamond earrings.
The moon is a perfect circular pendant necklace,
and the city skyline is her many pairs of shiny shoes

In the concert hall, their name is called
They are on deck,
about to take their turn

Into position,
Into their chairs,
Into their places they go.

She sits there,
Violin on her knee
And all of a sudden, the white haired conductor raises his baton they go.

They play it perfectly.
Perfect solos, perfect dynamics,
Perfect everything.

They prepare for the last note.
Here it comes!
And there it was.

They stay still
as statues on the stage,
the conclusion of the music still ringing in the air.

The audience stares.
What does one do
After such a wonderful thing?

Then the crowd realizes,
It's over.
They've done what they came here to do:

Filled someone's life with music.

The applause is loud—
Louder than ever—
so she bows, then the others.

The conductor is proud—
Prouder than ever—
And so is the rest of the orchestra.

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