The moon comes up like a melody
from a sad old love song. On stage,
the orchestra plays a Mozart concerto,
summer slowing down on the last weekend
before the world goes back to work.
This has been a season of sick friends—
heart attacks, Hodgkins, MS and cancer
all scraping their one-note symphonies.
But saddest of all has been the young man
I’ve known since birth, who sees conspiracy
in the stars and the moon’s jaundiced eye,
the medicines of our trade and Mozart’s
triumphant music too weak to cure him.
The white-robed conductor waves his wand
and sways like a dancer at the crescendo,
me in the back row picturing the way
I place a stethoscope in my ears and listen
to the heart when I’ve run out of things to say.