When flowers bowed their heads for night and hell heaved from infants’ lungs,
finger pads pressed on beveled holes along a vulture’s bone.
Lips pursed around the v-shaped mouthpiece.
Chest drew in. Breath went out. Fingers fluttered.
Sacks on the backs of those returning lightened.
A leader scowled: This was the sound of a day wasted!
Women guarded the player: This was the sound of demons lulled.
Over the ridge, baskets filled with grapes and dates
for the one who could lift hearts, summon tears, and join souls with a song.
Stars lit the path to the village where a fire was stoked, mats laid ‘round,
and music danced in the air like bats.