The Makers

Cremona, Italy
September 2013

What sleeps inside a slab
of maple, a stick of pernambuco?
Where does the music come from
once the wood is tamed? Was it always
electric in the red heart of that tree?
Or in the black ink of this pen before these words
landed on a place mat at Trattori Cheri?

Our meal offers us a clue: Polenta porcini
suggests an absence
of wheat, the pause of melody until
the bow draws it out of another shapely body.
Tortellini, like a private balcony
filled with flowers, is translated only by those
who admire as well as woo. The grille is a window
into Palazzo courtyards where ancient
hysteria climbs and then sighs. Each flake
of parmesan like shavings we plane
from what we make.

It's really in the asking and not the taking
from the wood, the word. Inviting
rather than demanding. Our questions
anticipate both cobblestone and smooth marble.
The smell of smoke and peaches. But when
the pieces fit, there is no language, no hidden
note. Just silence. Then music
asking more and more from us,
again and again. And again.

​​​-- Christine Hemp