A Song Heard Backwards

My earliest memories are of a final note,
resolute, droning, crashing – rote,
an idiot’s drumming at an idiot’s whims,
and then, in my youth, the melody sprung in
the sweetest strings, so light, so airy,
the sounds of meadows where birdsongs vary
and the sound of snow on sledding hills,
then, I aged, and came the trills,
the sharp and painful trumpet blows
the epic highs –
the bastard lows
and now the song fills me with fear:
Before it starts
what will I hear?

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