“The Second Music”

The Second Music


Now I understand that there are two melodies playing,

one below the other, one easier to hear, the other


lower, steady, perhaps more faithful for being less heard

yet always present.


When all other things seem lively and real,

this one fades. Yet the notes of it


touch as gently as fingertips, as the sound

of the names laid over each child at birth.


I want to stay in that music without striving or cover.

If the truth of our lives is what it is playing,


the telling is so soft

that this mortal time, this irrevocable change,


becomes beautiful. I stop and stop again

to hear the second music.


I hear the children in the yard, a train, then birds.

All this is in it and will be gone. I set my ear to it as I would to a heart.


-Anne Lighthart


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