Mourning song by Libby Maxey

Libby Maxey, a Franklin County resident and Straw Dog member, works for Amherst College and Literary Mama. Her poems have appeared in Emrys, Stoneboat and elsewhere, and her first poetry collection, Kairos, won Finishing Line Press’s 2018 New Women’s Voices Chapbook Competition. Her nonliterary activities used to include singing.

Mourning song

Before, we planned new repertoire, announced
auditions, practiced there together all
the pieces for the coming Sundays. Fall,
confirmed in expectation, jounced
from under us in spring. This will not be
the first time music’s been unseated by
disease, but first for us, apart, awry
reduced to solitary sympathy
on screen, the choral pretense joyless. I
know sunrise will be quiet soon, and some
birds break, select for silence, silent stay.
My throat is thick with weighted dreams and dry
consuming vigilance. It pleads too numb,
recoils from openness in these closed days.