Buried in the Haiti earthquake of 2010, musician Romel Joseph recalled concertos to keep his sanity.
Sibelius and Brahms will pull me through
the dark, the dust (though everywhere all strings
have snapped, gone mute) — and Beethoven — my true
companions. Once per hour my wristwatch rings
as if school were still in session. I remain
immobile, yet they’re bound to pull me through,
release me from the deafening shrieks of pain.
Are you not coming, friends? You’re overdue.
The walls, the beams, the nails cannot subdue
more than my flesh. In chambers of my mind
the old composers sing — they’ll pull me through.
They always have. Will someone go and find
the broken fiddle bows? I want to know:
where are the children hiding? All I view
are streams of tones before blind eyes. Their flow,
I’m confident, can pull — will pull me through.