Will Eaves

A Ship's Whistle
Years passed and I received no letter with the word “trombone”.          The distant cousins wrote, offered their shriller sympathies.         “What’s wrong with us?” Nothing I knew. Plugboard and      isinglass,
grimoire and cwm, friends all. Still I felt horribly alone.         Until one day it dropped through roundel light onto the mat.          I was tearing my dictionaries of hope—who, why, and what—
apart when it sounded, that note pressing for home. Trombone.         And fearing it a dream was like waking in the wrong room,         not daring to believe in your return, or having come
to my senses after sickness. Veneer, mirror, and comb:          objects that shivered as relief swelled under them, they drew          lots to be turned to words which, soon as said, I knew
were brass. Years sliding past alone until—avast!—trombone.