Cries of the children hang in the sun-downed air.

On the clouds, geese are printing their small, black letters.

Old music master, you're sick, you are sick and old.

Tiles of the rooftops streak with the sun's last gold.

Houses crouch together, counting their people.

Softly, as the daylight dwindles, the music fails.

In the garden pool, goldfish flash orange scales.

Poplars, against the sky, stand black and tall.

Monsieur, you're sick, you are very sick and old.

In the bronze half-light the doorknob gleams a cold

memorial.  The silver on the bureau weeps dull tears.

Shadows lengthen on the walls, as the music fails.

The spinet has lost its hands.  All its notes, like pearls,

lie scattered on the rug in the wavering dusk.

You are sick, Francois, you are very sick and old.

At a twilight mirror, somewhere in a fading world,

a young girl is trying on strings of jewels.

Strangely they shine in the dark as the music fails.

It is the sea, tossing in its bed of weeds and shells

that is unhappy, that is making that moaning noise.

Old music master, you're sick,  you are sick and old.

How the music swells in your ears, as the music fails.

 Copyright 2010-2012 Paul Petrie