A Ship’s Whistle

by Will Eaves

Years passed and I received no letter with the word “trombone”.
    The distant cousins wrote, offered their shriller sympathies.
    “What’s wrong with us?” Nothing I knew. Plugboard and isinglass,

grimoire and cwm, friends all. Still I felt horribly alone.
    Until one day it dropped through roundel-light onto the mat.
    I was tearing my dictionaries of hope – who, why, and what –

apart when it sounded, that note pressing for home. Trombone.
    And fearing it a dream was like waking in the wrong room,
    not daring to believe in your return, or having come

to my senses after sickness. Veneer, mirror and comb:
    objects that shivered as relief swelled under them, they drew
    lots to be turned to words which, soon as said, I knew

were brass. Years sliding past alone until – avast! – trombone.