In the Storytelling Tent

In the Storytelling Tent

A Poem by Katie

The trio begins, timidly doling out background music

as the tent fills with listeners, all saving their listening

for the wild-eyed storyteller from Brooklyn.


The three cellists eye each other over vacant measures,

each thirteen, each a piece of a three-part story

meshing closer together with every major triad�"

a story that, although unnoticed by the chattering audience,

promises precedence over the storyteller’s embellished woes.


The boy on the left, eyebrows forever slanting up,

melts into the strings as if overcome by something inexplicable;

his quivering mouth hangs half-open

like a faint preview of where he will be in five years,

trembling beneath an equally resonant voice

with lips half-open in youthful hesitance,

escalating to a place his mother will never admit he has reached.


The image of the nervous cellist sears itself in his mother’s mind,

eternally preserving his wide-eyed innocence,

while the music from their slanting bows

saws on in pre-arranged harmony

and tiptoes the line between sonorous and sore.


Exalted on the makeshift stage,

their three shadows waltz across the backdrop of the white tent

as colored lights follow their bowstrokes.

With one last tune before the storyteller takes the stage,

the children orchestrate, unknowingly,

the prelude to their delicate adolescence,

shifting their fingers on the hardened strings

and swaying in time to the three-four beat.

© 2011 Katie

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Added on June 29, 2011
Last Updated on June 29, 2011



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