Rhapsody for Courage
And as I sat reading Billy Collins
all through this beautiful autumn morning,
I listened first to the lawnmower next door
struggling through an overgrown lawn.
And as I did so the clouds, which have
only just come on the scene, scudded by.
I was, though, in the middle of thinking
about this when disturbed by the cat,
who, as she washed, did so
with a particularly raspy sound and shifted
a little with the sun; a sound I may not have
heard had the mover not ceased its strange music.
The cloud movement increased and I thought
about the music of the morning. How the music
of clouds scudding was so pure, so high above me
and yet so beautiful as to make something within
me sing. And now the cat who may or may not
be aware of this has slipped further into sleep;
the sky now a total blue and silence give me
its beauty, its own very special sound. And the
cat stretches one lone paw toward that shifting
span of sunlight.
The cat is still sleeping, the sun has shifted into
a corner of the room and begins an afternoon ascent
up the wall when the phone goes; a sibling with news.
And what would be the music in that you may ask (as
we see you have come back to the poem:) though yes
I did leave the poem for a long conversation. I left off
reading Billy and carefully, sadly wrote the final stanzas.
Our youngest sister begins her radiation treatment today,
another is having a hip operation. So, I come back for both,
but especially for the sister who is in and out of chemo or
radiation treatments saying, every time; “No long faces here.”
That’s so god-damn difficult because the music of the morning
is now so different and yet she makes it so necessary to write on
into the late noon with No Long Faces Here and she can, and she
does make this sound both musical and courageous. This is the music
I now hear. A rhapsody of courage.
Benita H. Kape © 4.5.2017