I can see her now,
mid-row, two rows back
on the conductor's left,
playing out her part,
at the heart of the Russian National Orchestra.
That Russian sound is stirring,
warm, insistent, clear as vodka,
The orchestra was powerful,
one big musical beast,
but through all this she caught my eye
with the sunburst of a smile
she couldn't help displaying while she played.
So bright was her happiness,
beaming to her sister strings
at the end of each bar,
the whole sound seemed to come through her.
Her joy at her occupation
made everyone else in the hall disappear;
unable to take my eyes from her face
I caught a glimpse of the soul of her nation.
Her intimacy with the strings was open to the world,
her arms embraced this instrument of pleasure,
no wonder that it sang its vibrant song
for all to hear, all through her smile.
Back on the Moscow streets,
an autumn night displayed a crescent moon,
and yes, I saw the smile again and hoped
another nation's streets would see it soon.