The Music Our Son Dreamed Of

by David Axelrod

After the solstice, friable light
withdrew and scattered.
Ice fog veiled the hogbacks
and depths of field receded.

So who could say then
if a durable world or fleeting one
remained out there, afloat
in blue ranging violet to white?

Our son heard his music’s pulse
in those long twilights, the soft
whir of seeds whirling down
from the crowns of fir trees,

in the red fox’s breath
inside its lair, the muffled
thump a flying squirrel makes
landing at the mouth of its den.

He heard it resolve
into a chord as wind
sifted through pine boughs,
then decayed to silence.

We heard it, too, at the New Year
in the way people resolved
to try and speak again
with magnitude, saying farewell

each time as if it were the last.
At dinner tonight a child asked
would she remember the future?
The music our son dreamed of

answered the way a grouse
after taking flight
left a ghost of itself
pressed into fresh snow.