The boy cellist bows his neck
over the neck of his cello, his cut-velvet
hair catching July light
as he plays and sings Henrici Noel’s
Lamentatio. His teenaged voice
hovers over the chords while fingers
pound the stings and his bow arm
vibrates the shiny blue of his shirt.
Such a paradox this combination
of youth and grief; it plucks at my heart
like pizzicato, pulling out
all the love and loss of sixty years.
The cello is a serious business,
conjuring sounds from the lowest bass
to the highest range of the soprano.
All the young faces in their folding chairs
moving arms and bodies like a dance,
an ancient ritual, where sound
speaks in the words we’ve lost,
all the words we’ve not yet found.