On the Stage

On the Stage

(Originally entitled “In the Chorale”)

Standing here among these singers,

Friends, neighbors, believers,

I only hear those around me—

Two altos to the right

And on my left, another tenor and a single bass.

We cannot hear the notes and music

From our vantage on the top row

But must trust our eyes more than ears

To follow the director’s quick bird-like motions

Paired with swan smooth gliding of palm and arm,

And we must trust our companion singers

And peerless orchestra

Gathered in from daily life

To create with us from common breath and

Daily living this music, this sound, this

Magic bigger than any or all of us,

Sung for an audience invisible beyond

The bright hot lights.

We would not know they are there

Sitting in inky darkness,

Silent until their own fluttering hands

Give notice of their presence,

And we think,

There are living, breathing people out there

And they care about us,

And they care about the music.

And so, this is our letter,

A love letter really,

To those around us,

To those ranged in rows

Before us,

Taking in conductor, orchestra,

And the largely anonymous

Faces in the darkened house.

We sing this music and we sing these words

For you and for ourselves

For those present, for those gone on

And for those who are yet to come.

This is our love letter to you and to

The great ephemeral universe:

We love all of you.

 

Dan Verner

September, 2017

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