Poem: Choir Lessons

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Choir Lessons

My first memories of church
have nothing to do with services or Sunday School,
but of the choir meeting in my mother’s house,
cluttered in the living room as she played
and pried music out of ordinary mortals,
a rough mix of sopranos, altos, tenors
and the occasional bass.

I watched the magic as all these voices,
so different in tone and texture,
grappled and wrestled and slowly,
oh so slowly, learned to meld their differences
into something magical, beautiful,
multilayered.

That was my mother’s magic,
not her fingers, so deft on the black and white keys,
or her voice, low and firm,
but her belief that the finest music
came not from a single great voice,
but from voices determined to work together
to move past their own flaws and foibles
to create something
eternal.

About this poem

I think sometimes, that we have lost the art of working together. I’d like to send all of us back to choir practice.

Sign me frustrated.

Tom

PS: My mother really did direct the choir for a time when I was growing up, and they really did meet in the living room many times to practice.

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