David T. Manning

The Ancient Chorister

The old guy with his nose

full of Vick’s has a voice

like a moose in full cry

and breath like an opened grave

but they let him sing

the Messiah year after year.

For His acceptable praise

God calls up all His instruments

even the old man,

like a taped-up gym piano

with broken, blackened keys

still an authentic musical species,

he dons his robe again and sings

(and Handel smiles, directing

from the wings).