Glenda Cooper The 2River View, 5.4 (Summer 2001)

Unearthed in Jiahu, Henan Province

A flute, the hollowed bone from a wing
of a red-crowned crane, nine millennia

after burial beside the musician. Today,
it will be played again, its long caesura

ended. I wonder at the wingless choice
of tune, Xiao Bia Ca, "The Little Cabbage,"

rooted, earthbound. Once, I watched
the dance ceremony of cranes:

two birds bowing claret-red heads, wings
half-extended like folded fields of snow, leapt

into the salty air. Now, a loamy melody lifts
in flight across nine thousand years—

seven notes of its one octave waver, finally find
the current, as we, who listen, soar into the past.

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2River All is well.