I Hear the Angels Humming

Out under the maples, noon light
dappling the scene like drops of sun,
Joe strums his Martin, humming along
his own accompaniment. His fingers
glide along the ebony board,
pressing the strings into tuneful
Cs and Gs, and even the F-sharps
and B-minors that come out like
the ragged brushing of steel-string
corduroy trouser legs when I try them.

I’m a little jealous as I watch
and listen, hacking away at
my fallow word garden,
pressing my uncalloused fingers down
in search of the chords
to some sort of art, too.
Mine is an arrhythmic melody
played on a soulless keyboard,
the worksong of one lost in empty silence.

I heard it first from the angels
who whispered in my ear
the last five nights, while
dark dappled on dark and
my instrument gathered dust
as it lay upon the pillow.
Mine is a solo piece, I know,
but I hear the angels humming
along with me anyway.


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