Do Not Be Afraid
to Open Your Windows and Sing

Tonight I listened
to the quarantined people of Sienna, Italy
sing out their windows
into the dark of night,
trusting that the sound of their sole voice
would connect
to someone who needed that melody.
And the old woman hanging her towels
on the balcony
caught that tune
let it float down onto her scrubbed and sanitized hands
and instead of balling her fingers into a fist
she opened her palms
placed them on the balcony ledge
added a harmony line
just two intervals below the melody
and floated it into the vibrating Italian air.

The pregnant woman
watering the bougainvillea on her balcony
caressed the roundness of her belly,
felt that determined beating heart
and then opened her lips,
adding a soprano obligato
above the notes coalescing
on this street overflowing
with open windows,
with hearts that long for connection.

We shine our best
In the darkness.

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Marianne Peel, American Poet