A plucked string out of tune still sounds,
its tone always in harmony with itself,
as the strongest souls always stand their ground,
the cacophony of other voices without effect.
But a string that’s too tightly wound goes sharp,
sometimes breaking; or, if slackened, flattens.
Though in isolation it doesn’t jar
the ear, with the other strings it clashes.
In theory, you could play a simple tune
on a single string as the instrument,
but making a chord takes another one
willing to forge a musical agreement.
To ourselves we should, of course, stay true,
but others are good for saying “I love you” to.
T. Allen Culpepper