Listening to Vivaldi 
She tells herself the rain is not like tears,
the sky not weeping. There is no sorrow
in this scarred desk by the window,
where she listens to Vivaldi
with her knees on fire
and watches plastic blow off broken windows
of the derelict mansion next door
that once belonged to the Civil War colonel
Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar­–
and then to who knows whom,
and finally to the family that fixed the plumbing
by digging a ditch, then covered the ditch
months later with cardboard.
Yellow plastic ribbons now hang
from dogwoods and roses, protecting the trees
against bush-hogs the city brought in
when they bought the house 
and leveled the weeds, churned up bushes.
She’d never choose to live with broken boards,
peeling paint, a hole in the roof,
but this mansion reminds her
of wind-down trees in a forest, flaking
and crumbling. No man likes a woman
with fibromyalgia
, she read.
Her husband says, honey that’s not true,
but pain has set up house in her
so that sleep becomes a prayer to pills and pillows,
and lovemaking’s careful
as a Japanese tea ceremony.
Sometimes a fullness just evades her.
She imagines sinking her fingers
into the heart of a rotting log
to smell the cedar. Listening to music,
she catches herself
wishing she were listening to music.

– ann fisher-wirth