The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Saturday and Choir Concert

Richard Noel
By Harry Thomas

He said he'd be absent a week,
and when I asked him why,
he looked away from me.
A small boy, and very shy,

he never spoke in class,
except to tell us about,
say, bees or the Burgess Shale.
I couldn't figure him out.

Two or three minutes passed—
as much as I could stand.
Then: "There's a tumor on
my pituitary gland."

He hadn't slept well in years;
watched scientific shows.
The doctor to remove it
would enter up his nose …

To finish the long profile
his grade depended on,
the afternoon before
the surgery, alone,

he worked late in the library.
I saw him typing away.
On my desk were his ten pages
the first thing the next day.

Over the years I, too,
have had hard things to face.
But when did I once summon
such fortitude and grace?


My Friday was hectic, though I didn't leave the house until 5 p.m. We got about an inch of snow last night, so the kids' schools had a two-hour delay opening. I had a nice morning -- shared a grapefruit at breakfast with Adam, who usually eats so fast that our paths only cross in the kitchen when we're both making hot cereal -- but then I started rushing around to get chores done and write a review of "Time's Arrow, Part Two".

We had a quick dinner with my parents -- Bagel City bagels and spreads, my favorite comfort food -- then went to Daniel's winter concert. The choir sang seven pieces, the a cappella group sang three songs, the guitar ensemble played six short pieces, one student sang and performed on guitar, then the choir and orchestra together performed the Hallelujah Chorus, inviting anyone in attendance who knew their vocal part to join them on stage. My parents and Paul's parents joined us for the concert, then we went home and watched Sanctuary -- I love Amanda Tapping and Christopher Heyerdahl, but when it comes to the mystical natives storyline, the less said the better.

Daniel singing "The Circles of Our Lives" with the other boys in the one all-male number of the chorus concert.

The chamber choir first performed the spiritual "All My Sins Be Taken Away" and the medieval "Lauda, Anima, Mea," plus the very funny "Contrappunto Bestiale Alla Mente"...

...then only the girls sang "I Dream a World," conducted by a student, using Langston Hughes' lyrics.

The bass section is the smallest in the choir and I'm not sure whether any of them are true bass singers yet -- it's tough in high school!

The a cappella group InToneNation performed the Five Satins' "In the Still of the Night," Duffy's "Mercy," and Regina Spektor's "Fidelity."

The guitar ensemble ended with "Basin Street Blues" and Louis Armstrong fans were encouraged to sing along.

Senior Abdul Nuriddin sang Kermit the Frog's "The Rainbow Connection."

The symphonic orchestra, full choir, and guests performed Handel's Messiah.

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