Ah, cry for the poor transcriber abroad in the land.

In her spectacles and too-long body she must be an insect.

An insect on two legs, what could be more pitiful?

A legless fish out of water.


Ah, cry for the poor transcriber. The world doesn’t fit

into tight-knit accounts of C-sharp or B-flat.

While she moons over tunes from the long-dead Baroque,

they can’t fix it.


Ah, cry for the poor transcriber-- but not too much;

mix with your tears a fair dollop of fears;

because whether wrong-headed, malicious, or true,

hers is the hand that records us.