Aria, with Weak Sunlight and Wheelchairs

In the home, grandmothers sit in a half-circle
under the sun which has come too early or too late.

The newest arrival pulls at a shawl around her shoulders
before entering the song in her head, too early or too late.

She is most garrulous, either from being disoriented or remembering
the importance of making a good impression before it's too late.

The others are silent, but not impassive. Who knows what
dreams the song has stirred in them, long-harbored and late?

But the singer's oblivious to everything but that design
climbing out of her throat. Dusted with melancholy, belated

arrival: her hands beat the air, Kappelmeister to a choir
of ghosts she conjures out of their fluids. Is it too late

to call each one by name, cradle them in tender hands?
Her hair silvers more in weak sunlight; it's not too late.

No one can make out the words now. The song thins to only
pure melody, or garbled signal: longing early and late.

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