Middle life transcribed for ’cello

My lessons began with ‘A Bass to Heartsease’,
The harder work done on grand piano,
Comforting and accurate as a mother.

For being even-handed, there was the lesson
Of double stops; in perfect fifths, delivering sound
Which once was meant to be the sign of God.

I’ve learned already, though cannot master it,
That tension and position are closely linked.
No failure — and there are many — leaves me worn.

I squawk for hours, content with struggle, and pay
For patience and advice while teachers sigh (“If only
He were ten or twelve — we’d go farther, sooner”).

I’m late to understanding.  It’s a common fault.
At 33, I could give up writing for the chance
To know how one note, rightly sounded — round,

Toneful, hair clinching string from top to end —
Shakes the matter in my skull and rests all trouble.
Still to come are mysteries, endless scales, harmonics.

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