Tuning

He was up in the choir loft, tuning his pipes
of the old century’s wind-pump organ; I heard
taps and bangs on metal, strange half-throated off-
notes, near-notes, puffs, sighs and cough-blasts;

and then he was playing—Bach, Buxtehude, Peters—
it was a young Jehovah’s making, a bright hands-full
soaring over oceans of soul-light, filling the chill of the chapel
with a lush of breathing. Now, in my everyday listening,

for the poem,the music, I am Mary before the ash-soft fall
of the messenger, I am John after the disappearance
beyond the clouds; I listen to the silence beyond the thuck
and thudding of a day’s importance, to hear the hum that figures

a countryside of darkness, the sounds of April
whispering over into May, the thunder of apple blossoms
dropping from the tree; I listen for the tune that my days make
in the works of love, in the notes’ approximations to a symphony.