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Musician Injuries

Musician Injuries



When the soloist lowers her
Strad and takes a bow,
she reveals the violin’s mark
on her throat, which makes me think
of Mozart, who rehearsed so hard
and gripped his quill so tight
his hand became a claw
by the time he turned twenty-nine.

Compared to them, I can’t complain—
my injuries are nothing more than
a calloused finger from writing
progress notes, a backache from
sitting with a thousand weightless
secrets, and a neck stiffened by nodding
“yes, yes,” in time to my patients’
sad love songs, each beat
a measure of the hours I practice,
the score I still have to learn.

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