The three-year-old waits excitedly for her name to be called

leaves her mother in the audience,
climbs the steps to the stage,
her violin tucked properly beneath her arm.

The teacher checks the tuning of the strings,
the manner in which the tiny violin tucks
beneath the soft round chin.

Serious, concentrating with all her strength,
she plays the open strings,
her arm pulling through the arc
in deep pleasure.

To the applause, she bows correctly,
and runs to her mother,
her debut a success.

Lari Smith