over the top

I volunteer to sing in a choir / a commissioned piece / about the first world war / we meet for practice in the church / I sit at the end of the row / next to a plaque on the wall / a memorial to someone or other / supported by two marble skulls / the conductor talks about the score / it makes me think of dad’s dad / Edward / shot in the stomach / addicted to chlorodyne / Achille, mum’s dad / who fought in the ruins of the house / his mother eloped from in France / I didn’t know either of them / they died before I was born / Edward from the booze / Achille from angina / the director raises her arms / I don’t read music / and struggle to make sense of the score / so when she points in my direction / I pretty much just follow the guy next to me / and do what I can to keep up

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