Songs of comfort

June 7, 2021

The friendly cellist with a big heart, a long-time resident
of a neighboring town where I grew up, who received
bouquets from the flower shop where I trimmed roses,
said his favorite thing to do after returning from a trip
was grocery shopping, savoring the essentials of small life
away from the airports and applause: buying milk, fruit
like blessings of solace: bread, tea, local honey in a jar
slow, lovely as sarabandes, those songs without words
aired in isolation through the pandemic. After his dose,
Yo-Yo Ma plays an impromptu concert for others waiting
in the fifteen-minute interval after the shots to monitor
allergic reactions. Masked, he lifts his cello out of its case,
perhaps his favorite one named Petunia, then tightens
the horsehair bow adroitly. The cello, with its mellow
notes of melancholy mingled with hope, fills the hall,
like the light at the end of the tunnel, the residents say.
Light at the end of the tunnel. I know it must be true
because I would never put this trite sentence in a poem
otherwise. God is waiting for us to pay attention:
God is waiting in the light.