Written for someone I know who just had a loved one pass away, I present this for NaPoWriMo#2: Stretch the Metaphor over at Read Write Poem. Enjoy.



Perhaps I’ve come to embrace them, these


that I chant in response to the psalms
around me. I never knew
how much I could be shaped
by the sea that I swim in, never knew
how much water could slide past my lips
until my lips became water
and I melted with the sea. I may be a
floating mass of indigo suspended inside
their ocean of turquoise –
but I am still


Now, I hear his counter-melody ending in
decrescendo, fading
into the soft light of silence –

and you face the cantor, wondering
how you will sound singing solo. We, your choir,
cannot sing his part. We don’t have the
range. We don’t have the rhythm. We don’t
even carry the same sheet music –

ours is marked up beyond recognition in
soprano, alto, and tenor pencil.

So we sing what we can, sounding out
our soul notes behind you
in sympathy cards, pats on the back,
hugs, open ears, and gentle gazes cast your
way. We sing, hoping that you
will hear us. We sing, hoping that
you will find the strength in your voice
to still carry your own tune. And I,

who once ducked and sang my
lone tenor part quietly beneath the
sea of soprano and alto tones,

will now sound out my harmony. I used to think
that my cadence was jarring, that my
off-key voice sounded in your ears
about as pleasant as the bray of an
ass, that my tones

distracted you.
Made your eyes and voice wander
away from your own melody. But
I cannot help but sing now — I wear
these choir robes. And if it will help you
sound out your solo loud and clear, I
will sound out my tenor lines

to blend in soft harmony
with their voices melting,
expanding into a cloud of care behind you
as you try your best to figure out
how to sing


Written 4/2/09
© 2009 Nicole Nicholson. All Rights Reserved.

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About ravenswingpoetry

I am a 38 year old writer from Columbus, OH and the creator of Raven's Wing Poetry. I am a poet, seeker, fellow traveler, and autistic.
This entry was posted in NaPoWriMo 2009, Poems, Prompt Poems and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Solo

  1. Linda Jacobs says:

    This is beautiful and sad and hopeful! You didn’t overdo the metaphor and I like the sea references!

  2. Erin Davis says:

    Oh, I love this. So beautiful. You use the music metaphor so well.

  3. Liz says:

    Beautiful imagery. Thank you for this.

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