Your shrill, yet oddly pleasant sound, echoes loudly down the long corridor.
I try to ignore you as the jaunty sound clashes with my melancholy mood,
Yet I find the notes and melodies cling to my mind like tissue stuck to a shoe,
Hanging on for it's own amusement,
Ignorant of my desire not to be teased nor humoured at this anxious time.
I feel I shouldn't like your racket,
My naïve ears and young years sense, not only an inappropriate comedy in your sound,
But also a daunting undertone,
Adding to my sense of having been plunged into deep icy waters.
Perhaps your music soothes those who are leaving,
Your high happy notes providing optimism and assurance of recovery,
Or of a restful sleep enveloping dear ones.
For me, however, at the point of no-return in my pilgrimage,
I hear only the low notes,
Out of time with my quickened pulse,
And lending a foreboding soundtrack to my slow deliberate steps.
But you play for no pay,
Busking in this hospital,
Doing good both night and day.
Yes, you are well known in this place,
Admired for the hours you commit to this space where lives can hang in the balance,
And where your instrument by day is a sharp sleek scalpel,
Invasive in its desire to alleviate suffering,
Your steady, practiced hand rehearsed and well versed in the methodically planned procedure of a surgical concerto.
But out of hours your instrument of choice lends you a voice,
Allowing flourishes and improvisations.
But were you aware that for visitors like me who visited repeatedly,
The clarinet would take on a significance beyond other instruments,
Taking me instantly back to bittersweet memories of visiting my family,
As, in turn, they aged and became unwell and recovered and became unwell again.
Now I am older and a little wiser,
I reflect and ruminate on this period;
My memories of family are more than just hospital visits,
And I wonder if I could ask one thing of you?
Why no Rhapsody in Blue?!