Poetry 2009 First Prize by Anu Elizabeth Antony

What The Fiddle Sings When You Play Her Strings

The moment he picked the faded fiddle from her lonely mud-brown corner,

she knew she was his.

“Will it hurt?” she asked, suspiciously spying his polish-wet hands.

She’d been alone so long she forgot how it felt to have her strings plucked everyday.

He frowned. Too soon, and her wail would echo in every song.

His fiddlestick tickled a happy tune from her,

gently teasing till her watery giggles filled the air.

She would treasure forever this moment, his gift to her.

And so it was, till a teeming crowd sprung forth demanding love songs.

He paled.

“Will it hurt?” she teased, her strings strumming a trusting smile.

His fingers tightened over her frame.

No it won’t, he said, and played ruthlessly on.

From her pain, his greatest gift gushed forth.

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