The Cello – Shannon K. Winston

A woman who is and is not my mother stands at a window
and watches her sadness curl, so slowly, against the glass.

Quiet, at first, this sadness is silken. Pianissimo.
Like snow, it drifts to her feet where she hopes it will melt.

A woman who is and is not my mother stands at a window
and watches her sadness congeal into rosin.

At last, it grows thick, tough like sheep gut. Will she ever
name it? —this prolonged grief in D minor.

A woman who is and is not my mother stands at a window
and feels her sorrow crescendo. It is maple, it is spruce, it is

metal. Her body is now as flammable as wood.
Even her horsehair is tinged. Desolation spills over

a woman who is and is not my mother. By the window:
her cello. She stuffs her sorrow through the f-holes.

Shannon K. Winston

Shannon K. Winston’s book, The Girl Who Talked to Paintings, was published in 2021 by Glass Lyre Press. Her individual poems have appeared in RHINO Poetry, The Shore, West Trestle Review, and elsewhere. Find her on Twitter at @ShannonKWinsto1 or at www.shannonkwinston.com

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