Making Dinner, I Hear Rostropovich on the Radio

This entry is part 25 of 73 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2011-12


Zest of lemons fills the air, and on the radio,
yearning notes from the throat of a cello.

Exactly how much salt or spice to throw in?
Without measurement, the senses tend to open wider.

Viola, violin, strings from the orchestra fill out
undertones in the andante part of the Rococo Variations:

this is Tchaikovsky in the arms of Rostropovich, or
so my daughter tells me. Slow as a waltz— and suddenly I

realize this might be the music I’d like played at my funeral.
Quelle alternative? I don’t know, as I wasn’t really

pondering the matter. Just something in the phrasing,
or the way the quietly contemplative cadenzas make me feel

none of the sorrowful hysteria sometimes induced by
music that lobs the racquetball of the soul around in its cage,

little bird reminded of the wilderness that bred it.
Kindness after long difficulty is what I hear, perhaps. Or

just a simple turn, a few steps around the room, notes that burgeon
into the fullness of their theme. I don’t know much more.

How have I started with lemons and garlic—
grease quietly sputtering under the layer of

fricasseed chicken breasts in a pan on the stove— then
ended up thinking of music by which to exit?

Don’t read more into this than there is.
Clouds look lovely outside the prismatic window,

bunched and fleecy as pulled wool. I’m here and not
about to go anywhere just yet; I love the color yellow.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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