The little girl sat quietly at the window,
her puppy sleeping peacefully in her lap.
A phonograph record was playing loudly
an opera by Verdi.
She closed her eyes and envisioned
herself as the soprano in a beautiful red velvet gown.
The notes were clear and strong, like crystal waters rushing over rocks.
The little girl lifted her head as the diva does and outstretched her arms.
The puppy stirred, and curled up again.
She clenched her fists, as tears ran down her face as she belted out the last note.
The phonograph went silent.
A nurse entered the room, put the puppy dog on the floor and wheeled the little girl outside into the sunshine.
The puppy ran behind them barking all the way to the garden.
She breathed the sweet smell of pulmaria, but it failed in comparison
to the breath of satisfaction left behind by the song in her heart.