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Jul 10
I remember my father listening to Brahms in the living room,
Eyes closed,
Fingers tapping notes on his knees,
That ratty recliner a front row seat;
An island in an ocean of music and a soul
Carried by the ethereal harmony of a
Symphony felt in the bones.

Even when he could no longer raise his arms
And his legs like stones
Rested still at the end of the bed;
When the poison of cancer destroyed all the strength he had,
I watched him still find something sweet
In the music.

They played it on some old radio
And his eyes would close as if
Those symphonies of hope
Could sustain his heart beat
Just a little while

I am his daughter, and I know this
Because I also listen for it.

In the gentle whispering of the Cottonwood leaves
Or the light strain of the Meadowlark on a summer evening,

There are also strings;

The faint echo of a violin.

It rolls in like a river from a valley far away and plays the notes of hope.

I can hear the opening sonata quote something like,

Don’t give in

To the darkness.

A symphony plays in the winds that cascade across the jagged rocks of the mountains.

A symphony plays in the sky.

A symphony rolls in on the waves of the northern seas,

Across the reddened canyons;

The notes they bleed like rain upon the
Parched and desiccated world.

And sometimes, it plays in your heart.
You orchestrate the notes with your hands when you run them through my hair,
And suddenly, from somewhere far away,
I can hear the whispered strings of my own violin,


Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all

-Emily Dickinson
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