BECAUSE IT’S NELSON MANDELA’S BIRTHDAY
Because it's Nelson Mandela's birthday
Because we all wonder what we can do
or what it is we have done
On whose scale is the fruit weighed, anyway?
Proceed to checkout
Inch closer to the melting ice cap
The orchestra sits with instruments poised on their laps
staring at the empty podium
Someone in the audience coughs
Programs shuffle, a cell phone rings
It's connected to infinity
and reminds us that
once we slept in trees
we had calloused palms & feet
The concertmistress takes charge
She stands and
they play something hot and sleazy
The men remove their neckties and
the women loosen their clothes
It is summer and drought and more summer coming
The corn is wilting
The well is dry but we are not defeated
The last note - violin and cello -
Refuses to stop.