As Conducted by Seiji Ozawa

Eight p.m. and an extended vowel sounds from the pit, instruments braying, sustaining the nasal pitch of the audience. When Massey Hall quiets, a spotlight sets beyond its seats, and …

Illustrations by Hudson Christie
Illustrations by Hudson Christie

Eight p.m. and an extended vowel
sounds from the pit, instruments
braying, sustaining the nasal
pitch of the audience. When
Massey Hall quiets, a spotlight sets
beyond its seats, and farther
back, porters place bets
on whether a gaffer will fall
from the rigging. My father
sits in the mezzanine. He practises
bruising his hand with his fist
as if he were damping a trombone—
in and out with mock innocence,
so like his son, getting it wrong.

This appeared in the June 2016 issue.

Jim Johnstone
Jim Johnstone won a CBC Poetry Prize and has published four collections of verse.

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