Zuzanna’s Music

Zuzanna holds the instrument in both hands.
It’s small, round, wooden, about the size
of a human heart, the O of its soundbox
mouthed open for wonder. A moment’s pause
and then she plays, thumbing the raised
steel rods, and a miracle of music ripples out
almost too quiet for hearing, just as the strands
of a spider’s web are almost too fine for seeing
but they add shine and strength, and right
the balance. And this music that Zuzanna plays
goes on tumbling upward into air, a thread
of outflung sound, each one tipped with trickle
of clear water over small stones, and our words
against it feel too weighty, and we have to
ease them back, and find a gentler breath
to voice this song. And finally when it stops
it doesn’t stop, but carries on into the silence
an echo drop of notes that sound the soul
and leaves no place for speech. And yet we speak.
Play it again, we say. She plays it again.