Marin Poetry Center

Bittersweet Symphony

By Abigail Merciniak

The pat-pat of the bullets
Reminds me of a maestro
Passionately playing the timpani

The screams of women and children,
Short bursts of scarlet terror
Tenuous, like a terrified principal violinist
Hurriedly stringing his bow

The yelps and war cries of the men
Becoming deep-throated cellos
Belching out a tragic harmony

The laughter of the enemy soldiers
Amidst the slaughter
A brassy sound
Trumpets playing with great fanfare

The whispering crackle of fire
As it decimates my village
Draws memories of a woody oboe
Singing softly

In the end
A dejected duet of harp and flute
Encompasses my sorrow

Throughout the horror
My pride and joy
Sitting on my bed
As my house smolders

I recall its woody timbre
And I long for the days
When my clarinet was the only instrument in my life
Before being replaced by the rough sound
Of an AK-47

Honorable Mention: Abigail Marciniak
Tamalpais High School (Teacher: Michael Levinson)

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