Terror rarely comes in thunder,
preferring a sinister waltz
of seduction, the single notes
of a piano, Bartok-like,
accompany the spiral stairs
winding down into the maze, echoed

by hammer-struck wire blossoming
out into chorus. Then, a voice
like violin strings descends in pitch,
looping in carefully placed steps
of a few seemingly random notes,
walking up scales and back.

This dance of tympani and plants
follows the labyrinth as wind
hums ethereal as an oboe
exhaling. A deep drop in tone,
a bassoon, then, metallic bones
clash in clanging vibrations

while strokes of plucked harp strings,
the heartbeat, first, steady, then slowing
to a perfect if ignoble end.
Ofelia, hearing the lullaby,
rests to find the peace of mind
found in the art of dying.

© 2017, Bill Cushing

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