Elegy (Heidi’s Song)

Heidi, you were a flute. I,
tall like poplar,
would open my mouth to sing and out
came a trembling child’s voice, soft
even in the echoing acoustics
of room twenty.

But you, ah —
you sang and from your sapling body swelled
soprano seeking every crevice
clear and strong,
till all the space brimmed full.
You were better than a flute. You were
a wind, Heidi, at times gentle,
warm and sweet as early autumn breeze,

at times
like the hurricane gusts that shook the coast
last September, strong enough
to bend the trees
until their fingers stroke the earth.

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