The cello is the most subtle
Of the four-piece orchestra.
More subtle than the viola
Even though many might disagree–
The viola is too subtle
So it is suspicious
Indeed the most suspicious of the lot.
And most often the viola is left out anyways
In favor of two violins.
What can you do with a viola that
You couldn’t pay a violin to do cheaper?
So the cello is rendered
The most subtle of the
Four-piece, viola-free orchestra.


This is just what it wants to be
Just what it needs to be.
Oh, the cello.
The smart and subtle cello.
The sneaky, smart and subtle cello.
On it’s way to the bank
Where the jewels of the Queen are kept.
No one will suspect
It could be the cello.
Isn’t the first violin the brains?
And the bass the brawn?
Perhaps that is a misnomer.
But the cello doesn’t seem to be good for much
Besides subtly.


This is just what it needs to be good at
To do what it needs to do.
The cello eases the clutch in
And shifts into second,
Holding his breath so lightly
As he passes by the Northside police station
With the Montana guard posted.
But no one notices a cello
A good-hearted, only ever pure cello.
He signals left and waits until the arrow is green
Pausing to yield to oncoming traffic.
When he finds a gap—
He takes it—
Slowly making the whining arc
He crosses the intersection safely
And subtly.


This is just what it needs to be a good
Visit to the bank, the cello decides.
Flawless car execution
Will save him from executions of a different nature.
He shifts to first
And turns off the car
Taking a deep breath before
Unbuckling his seat belt,
His securely fastened seat belt.
He tries to stop his little strings from shaking
And producing too much noise
For true subtly.
It’s hard, but he makes it
And he grasps the cold iron
Of the front door.


This is just what needs to happen
The cello decides
The door must be first opened before he can carry out
What needs to be carried out.
He edges to the bank counter
And slowly takes the piece of paper and the tiny
Pencil, the pencil that is almost too tiny
To be comfortable.
As neatly as he can manage
He draws a large sum on the back of the paper.
He wipes his brow
And rubs his hands on his knees
Sliding the paper towards the counter window.
He sees the eyes widen.


This is just the reaction the cello
Was hoping for from the man who would read
This paper.
The man slowly looks at the cello
Looks him up and down and holds out his hand slowly.
The cello reaches into his pocket
And slides it to him, pausing for a smile
As the man behind the counter
Who read the paper written with the tiny pencil
Nods very very slowly.
He reaches down and grabs a stack
And slowly very slowly
Eyes wide and alive but barely
He pushes it towards the cello.


This is just the amount the cello
Was hoping for from the man who would
Read that paper.
He weighs it in his hands
And flips through the bill.
With a smile and a wave,
He turns around slowly
And creeps towards the door.
He places his hand on the cold iron bar
And pushes slightly,
The cool April air hitting his wood.
He pushes the beeper
And unlocks car, walking slowly to the trunk
And opening it quietly.


This is just the right amount of noise
The cello must make to retain his
Status of being subtle.
He places the bundle in the middle
Of the trunk
And eases back to the front seat.
He starts the car
And eases out the clutch,
Watching all his mirrors as he pulls out from the bank parking lot.
He pauses at the same light
Before turning right
After waiting the appropriate time for the gap.
He breathes in deeply as
He passes the Montana guard
Who does nothing
Because the cello is too subtle for that.


“What was that?”
He said to the other
The one who stood behind the counter
With knitted eyebrows
And a frown.
“I think that was a cello”
Came the reply
From the man who had read the paper.
Said the man who looked onwards.
“I didn’t know that cellos could write.”


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