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.