she stands before it, transfixed. slowly the man removes the case, the latches unbuckling unceremoniously as if they no longer care for this ceremony. but to her, it is her first, hence, it marks the start of a ritual to be learned for a lifetime. she watches his fingers pry the case open, and there it sits, enfolded, hands tucked, eyes closed, lips curved up in a smile. he gently coaxes it out. here, he says. here, meet your new guardian angel. it lifts an eye open, curious, and she stares back, biting her lower lip. the man laughs at this encounter. here, he says, handing her the bow. she picks it up, still as hesitant as ever, but obediently climbs onto the chair. she places her fingers on its neck, detecting a faint hint of pulse as it arches back at the touch. she exhales. he smiles encouragingly. go on, give it a try. it leans back expectantly, waiting for her cue.
slowly, she makes it sing, sing of a gift to be simple, a gift to be free, a gift to come ‘round where one ought to be. it basks in the warmth of her presence, feeling found.