Harmony This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

October 28, 2010
A balmy summer night
illuminated by fireflies
and countryside quiet.

Outside green hills roll
into pastures usually filled
with black angus and
patchwork animals.
Inside, few lamps are lit,
casting a dim glow
on thin pages.

A small circle of wooden
dining chairs holds a family,
or part of it, each one
hunched over a blue songbook.
The front reads, in faded
gold lettering:
Hymnal 1982

This group gathers yearly
during its short sojourn
at the farm. This will be
the first time I have
taken part.

Hesitant but eager to try,
I pick up my songbook,
prepare to raise my voice.

Begin. Harmony drifts
through the darkened
breakfast room, beneath
doorways worn with use,
around dusty corners
forgotten by the broom
to reach the others who slumber.

Most songs I have never
heard before, but still
I try, still I sing, sight-reading
in the little circle of light.

Each note, quarter, eighth,
or sixteenth, begins a measure.
Measures blend together to form
lines, verses. A praiseful hymn.

That July I was skeptical,
but I saw the praise in my
mother's eyes, the focus in
the lines of my aunt's face.

I heard the music that night,
while the fireflies flashed
and we were reassured by
the sleepy bovine presence
in the barn outside.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

SMWells said...
Nov. 1, 2010 at 11:55 am
We used to sing together. Now it's been so long, if I hadn't read your poem, I might have never let it cross my mind agin. I love to sing. But we never do anymore.
Site Feedback