First, she unwraps:


the silk, an autumn-coloured paisley scarf

wound ’round beak and neck,

then pressed about the creviced curve of body

nestled in a velvet green cocoon.


She points and names:


prosaic back and body, tailpiece, quickly lost

in a frisson of peg box, purfle, scroll and saddle,

and carved italic slashes whose length and breadth

combine, define the sound.


She lifts it out:


fingers tune strings strung taut

by the bridge that sits astride the belly.

She searches for, then finds, corrects

sounds that are foreign to my ears.



Text Box: Linda Crosfield

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Watching My Mother Play Her Violin