"Music is Time"

By Jill Bialosky

Music is time, said the violin master.

You can’t miss the stop or you’ll miss the train.

One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four,

one, two, three, four.

 

She clapped her hands together

as the boy moved the bow across the strings.

One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four,

one, two, three, four, the violin master shouted,

 

louder and more shrill so that her voice

traveled through the house like a metronome,

guiding him, commanding him to translate the beat,

to trust his own internal rhythm.

 

Good boy, she said.

See how hard you have to be on yourself?

How will your violin know who you are

unless you make it speak?