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She Marries a Violinist
Martha Hill Duncan

SSAA a cappella choir


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Her mother boils the telephone in tears;
her father floats silently over the pages
of his novel. They regret her piano lessons.

He doesn’t have a steady job; his violin
reclines in its velvet mooring while she packs
and unpacks the huge dusk of concert halls.

Her parents drive love like a heavy car;
she plays the back seat game and says
what is almost on the tip of her tongue:

“I love you both” means “My violinist is
a darkened boat, and I am what I have become,
a duet polishing the hard lake of departure.”

- David Swanger


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