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Swan Song

By Ruth Calder Murphy (Arciemme)

The organ’s opening chord - and the music swings wide for the choir to ride on its broad back.

Shadows lie deep and dark in the churchyard and the music, light and bright, cannot lift them. I’m cold. My joints are stiffening.The scent of Autumn, earth, my own sweat and the rich heaviness of blood... The blood is mine too. Or it was.

I drift on the rise-and-fall waves of Tavener and Byrd and the last lullaby of a song thrush. I smile at being lullabied by homophonic Byrds. I will die smiling.This makes me happy.

I've forgotten the panic, the shock that the organist’s hands, masters of such awful beauty, could cause such exquisite pain. The song thrush sings me to sleep as the last chord sounds, the choir falls silent and the door of my life shuts softly and forever.

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