Dress Rehearsal

Psychiatric Times, Vol 39, Issue 2,

"...they’ve returned like songbirds, exhausted from flight but wild to swagger the songs they carry..."

POETRY OF THE TIMES

– for my Boston Symphony Orchestra neighbors

Gone for the pandemic year,

they’ve returned like songbirds,

exhausted from flight but wild

to swagger the songs they carry.

A month deep into their embouchure

rehab, I hear them rehearse

as I dance down their dirt road,

First Trombone nailing a tune

that brings down the house,

Second Trombone matching him

note for note, amping up the tempo,

playing scat singer loose,

Oboe at the third driveway trilling

call and response with a wood thrush,

both lost in their Birdland jazz,

Tuba on his deck blasting oom-pahs

strong enough to loosen nails,

and Horn on the hilltop calling

the gods to join their dirt road

symphony, wind brushed leaves

applauding this July 5th

morning before opening night.

Embouchure is the use of the lips, facial muscles, tongue, and teeth in playing a wind instrument. This includes shaping the lips to the mouthpiece. The word is of French origin from the root “bouche” meaning “mouth.”

Dr Berlin has been writing a poem about his experience of being a doctor every month for the past 24 years in Psychiatric TimesTM in a column called “Poetry of the Times.” He is instructor in psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts. ❒