In the Wake of Ancient Flutes (from A Widow's Wreath)

In the distance from time to time I hear flutes
white notes folded, draped about me, folded
into sheets about my shoulders.

Always it is the same
a dream composed of bits and pieces from concertos
like ragged notes riveting across beds of raging waters,

biting into edges of night.

How shall I cry?

My heart hardly understands the idea
of an infinitely precious recording
that moves neither forward nor backward,
stuck between stone-walled crevices.

When shall I wear fine linen and walk along the shore?
When will you come to me?

The smell of gardenias crosses the conservatory
as I play the dry, brittle music without fingers,
each melody a beginning and an end
gnarled tones leaving only the lonely terror
of nothing to hope for.

Now as ancient flutes lick the parched air of my dreaming
I long to know answers.

What destiny is being rehearsed
in the angelic aura that curls itself
so tightly about my shoulders,
taunting me with expectations that vanish into whispers
against the chill of long midwinter nights?