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279th Weekly Poetry Contest winner: Musical unit

by Lee Nash

Now it's almost commonplace.
The hospital orchestra tunes to A,
and the overture builds with a big string sound –
von Karajan would be proud.

A man with his beating heart exposed
lifts the flute to his lips,
runs through Debussy's Syrinx
as the surgeon cuts his pipes.

An Irish harp is suspended,
as if sent down from heaven, and a mother
tenderly plucks its strings
as her cherub enters the world.

The brass section, a rowdy lot,
all bruised and bloody are soon sewn up
as they pumpity-pah and tumpity-tum
from trumpet to euphonium.

Tchaikovsky's Symphony No 4:
the oboist is red in the face –
his blood-pressure spikes but he holds the note
as his cataract plops in a palm.

The timpani boom and the triangles ting
as fingers stitch the dura,
as coma patients twitch their toes
and neurologists straighten spines.


See all the entrants to 279th Weekly Poetry Contest