Orecchiette

By Andy Mitchell

Flattening out the dough with a warped rolling pin,

flour blooming into clouds in the kitchen sky, she cuts

familiar lasagna strips, then pinches & twists

odd little shapes, singing arias under her breath,

(hitting all the flats and sharps)

one I remember hearing her sing full-voiced

years ago. She was in college, the end of term.

Students all over campus were humming along

to the songs on their headphones.

Birds were whistling hymns to the sun. “Spring,” they were singing,

Spring!” From the top of their little throats. The warblers

and the wannabes. All partaking of, all reveling in

the newly-scented air. The world was abuzz, fragrant with song,

the most potent coming from the one standing alone (farthest from her nest)

in an empty rehearsal room, empty but for her (this one now standing

before me) and the entire music department faculty, whose eyes

and ears were trained on her, as I paced the hall outside

eager as I am today

for the results.

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