"Breaking Silence"

Beyond the frosted window,

Beyond ear's reach in the white world,
The birds swoop open beaked but silent
Waiting for the gentle giant

To come and fill the seed pans.
Standing ready at the deck door
His oversize sandals solace my feet.
Venturing out with seed and suet
To feed his wild flocks in a garden
Still held in cruel winter thrall,

I take comfort that he cannot see
The lifeless forms, the bloated gold
Floating in the sun-warmed center
Of a pond iced too deep

In a winter too severe

To preserve his beloved koi.
His sitar rests on a prayer rug
In the center of the room.

As the sun crosses the window wall
I tug the carpet toward the shadows,
Protecting his precious instrument
from the bleaching rays of light,

But never straying far from the center
Where he sat as guru to his students.
Memories move me to caress the wood.
I dare not touch the strings.

A single note would deafen my heart.
Come spring, the birds may sing again.
New fish may flit through clear water.
Perhaps I will be ready then

To listen to his sitar.

Perhaps I will even turn up the volume
Until, all in harmony,

His music soars up to heaven.

I called him one day and said that I was all worried about the 10th of January 2009 show since we did not practice for that show even once. He said that I should not worry; he would be there (in Milwaukee) for the show on the 10th of January. He told me that he was in the hospital and he was going to go home in two days. Two days later he was gone forever. He taught me a non-denominational prayer. I start all my shows with that prayer now.