Stacie McCall Whitaker - Stone Coast, Maine

Music Lesson

Written By: Rebecca Starks

Wood thrush
Learning his song by ear
               from the spool purl spurl of the creek

Practicing something he can’t hear
The tricky bits stretches,
The curl of birch bark a tendril
               around the divine

(Too patient for any other ring, as a girl
the page-turner held still long longing
enough one encircled her finger)

Not fiddling for b natural the pitch
               Letting it fail slide, taking it again
               from the twenty-fourth measure year
               with a new reach in mind
                                                                 the canopy, the crown’s
Tantalizing cadenza

Epithets Epiphytes of silence Epiphytic notes
               hanging on air

The wind page-turner listens
Not correcting fingering
Not turning the page

Green-eyed quiet
               in the flicker of leaves
Rosy-fingered hush
               above the russet pine needle floor
                              where his mate nestles
Stunned by reflection’s glass ceiling:
               the window’s rap

Tempo allegro presto

Silence accompanying
The heart’s the pendulum’s the heart’s taut swing

About the Author

Rebecca Starks - Arion as a Child & Music Lesson

Rebecca Starks’s poems have appeared in Slice, Rattle, Crab Orchard Review, Raintown Review, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere. Her fiction has appeared in Tahoma Literary Review and Crab Orchard Review. She is a founding editor of Mud Season Review and teaches lifelong learners at the University of Vermont.