Four Ballades

Four Ballades

dedicated to Jason Bae


A prodigy studying at the Academy

plays Chopin in a hospital chapel with blue-gold windows

and tapestry kneelers;


a young patient listens in a wheelchair 

strapped to a chemo-stand

tufts of unsure hair, the whites of her eyes paler than glass


fingers slip over black and white ivory rivers,

water downstream

notes dipping inside invisible places


reaching the edges of a morning sky

where winter sea-birds sleep

and where white hyacinths are strewn over an ocean


where glimpses of light from a solar moon

wakes days drowning into days

opens empty rooms


after the concert, she speaks in mono-syllables

snow falling as snow       

at last I know

why it is, that I do want to live.


- Audrey Ardern-Jones (2015)
Revised on (2016)