Waiting: an Elegy for choir and cello

Waiting: An Elegy for choir and cello was commissioned by the 2009 Sound in the Lands Festival at Conrad Grebel College, University of Waterloo, Ontario, for the Mennosingers choir under the direction of Peter Nikiforuk. It was premiered in June, 2009. The text is by poet Cheryl Denise.

Duration: 6’30”


Sheep roam the field
till bells ring
and black-eyed Susans fall
petal by petal,
and I wait.
The moon wanes
like old memories
I can’t grasp anymore but feel.

You won’t come.

Thoughts fall heavy as pears,
I don’t eat them
till they sour.
Crumbs of childhood
strewn at my feet are
eaten by black ants.
My head rests on a rock
watching downcast sunflowers
and I forget how to make new dreams.

Tomorrow I’ll plant corn
which the deer will steal.
Dirt will grow under my nails
and deepen the cracks in my hands.

At times I almost feel you again
in the wild wind.
Hope breathes against my neck
and this is enough.