I was up on campus of the University of Utah last night to find a building (I’m taking a creative writing class soon) and wow, the memories came flooding back: starting classes in the fall, walking everywhere with my violin case, discovering poems about music. Here’s another one–in my head, the soprano part being practiced is from Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis.


We Shall Be Released

by Joseph Stroud

Every afternoon that autumn
walking across campus
past the conservatory
I heard the soprano
her voice rising
making its way up the scale
straining to claim each note
weeks of work
of days
growing shorter
storms slamming the campus
the semester staggering
to an end
everyone exhausted
heading out and going home
the campus nearly deserted
but the soprano
still working the scales
when I passed under the trees
the liquid ambers on fire
the clouds like great cities
sailing out to sea
and didn’t I ascend
with her
my own weariness
and sorrows
dropping away
didn’t we rise together
her voice straining
at the top of its range
almost reaching
almost claiming
that high
final note