If I vocalize, some young cadenza will drop by unannounced.
There are breath marks in my practice room begging to be taken.
If I comply, then will the diaphragm be willing to respond again?
I watched the fingers of my motherís left hand be raised one-at-a-time atop the table.
Her shoulder held a permanent Confiteor where childhood might have been.
There is no life without an instrument, she said.
I used the flute to siphon off some selfhood.
I practiced seeming something, to prepare for
when the future came to be invited into present tense,
and I would gather up my prematurity and play
something by heart for the occasion,
striving for a rumored perfect pitch.
—Sheila E. Murphy