Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Stormy Night

A friend emailed me from across the country today. His friend had emailed him from across the world, saying briefly, bleakly, that her husband had passed away from pneumonia; he had been diagnosed with dementia some time prior to his spending this last week in the hospital, where he left his struggles behind him. 

These are the days when I miss the three of you more profoundly than I think my heart can bear. Days when my only recourse is the piano, my faint-hope clause, the one spot where the four of us overlap in my venn diagram.

And so I play into the evening, with the fire and the solitary spotlight over the piano giving me just enough warmth and light to see your pictures and stop me from shivering.

It is snowing outside again. "What'll I do with just a photograph to tell my troubles to?" the piano laments.

The wind whips around the corner of the TH, spattering icy droplets on the east windows. "Since you went away the days are long," it chides.

And I think of this woman I will never know. I pray for peace and comfort. I pray for the gift of remembrance, and the gift of forgetting.

Then from the high, sweet registers on the piano a single finger picks out a familiar melody: "There is a balm in Gilead ..."

The wind slowly dies down. The snow is gradually replaced by rain. The rain washes everything clean. And the midnight train wends its mournful way through the town, through the night.

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