What time is it? How long have I lain here?

No. I know you have no curing words for me. No matter. Will you play for me, kind woman? Will you play me a song?

You hold that violin as if it were your lover, you know. There is a connection in that distance I’ve never felt. And ah, the sweet and sorrowful notes you summon with such gentle flicks of your wrist. Lady, thy song is solace.

This bed is hard and the lights are dim; what poor accommodation death provides. Yes, I can see the sun above me, but why must it withhold its shine?

I hear it. Be it your song or mine I do not know, but I hear the music. It is the very first song you played me, almost three decades gone by.

I could not hear it then. The mournful sorrow in those notes; the knowing cry of a violin that is sure it will play for this same audience’s passing. I could not hear it then; I was too young to understand death, or transience, or permanence. I was too young to put into words just what your song meant to me.

But I remember it still. The song you played me for my birth, you played for my wedding, you played as my boat left the harbour. You play for my death.

Are you there, sweet sister? Your song grows so faint, I cannot hear it over the sobbing of the wind. My ears ring with the din of nature, yet the leaves have long since grown still upon their branches. It is so cold and quiet here.

But above the gunfire, above the wind, above the thumping heartbeat held between the pages of your letters, I hear your song. I hear your song, until there is nothing left to hear.

It is so quiet here.