next to her bed her instrument sleeps
covered for the night like a bird in a cage
night passes . . . . . . the light returns
she pulls the cover away
dust motes dance in the air
she tunes her loom
strums the white parallel lines
with a flick of her wrist
each string must vibrate
layers of notes grow upward
tamp tamp tamp tamp
she listens for the right pitch
inserts the percussion fork into
the parallel lines that lead upward
she pulls down mountains, stars, lightning, storm patterns
tamp tamp tamp tamp
she is mythic soloist, storyteller, mathematician
her concert transforms us
we soften like lambskin

Copyright © 2022 by Laura Tohe. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 24, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.