An A Cappella Farewell

They went away.

It was gentle,

a touch on the upper arm

by an old friend; like a musician

saying, this is enough for now,

replacing his instrument in its case,

and bidding good night.

Slowly the gathering rooms

of my compatriots have emptied,

and I wonder if it is I

who shall be left alone

amidst this lingering resonance, listening

to the wind-dance outside,

reiterating the feeling of that final violinist

in Haydn’s symphony;

or will it be my erstwhile companion

on those long-ago bicycling treks,

even now faltering, vision and hearing uncertain,

who will sit here, just as singular,

wondering if I, unperceived,

am still standing in the window’s bay,

watching the whirl of winter’s first snowfall,

momentarily silent

as the space between that music’s movements,

or have just stepped out for a moment,

and will eventually return,

like that triumphant conductor,

to take my bows from the podium.