Monday, May 26, 2008

Moving Piano

Black, beautiful, and upright
she traveled in the back
of an old green pickup truck
all the way from Scranton
tied up and secured to the bed
with old ropes and covered with plastic
she was from a Catholic school
where the nuns sold her for cash they used for new books
she arrived to become a gift
from a father to his little girl

Positioned against the wall of the dining room
she became the center piece of aspiration
lessons started in 2nd grade
and year after year
Sister Mary taught scales, chords, arpeggios
serious pieces, duets
and taught a little girl’s hands to softly caress
her black and white keys,
coaxing magic from them

When reminded, the girl polished her
and lined up small statuettes of the masters along the top
on humid days, her musty wood seemed to swell
while the girl played outside,
during winter, she often sat abandoned
while everyone gathered in the warmer parts of the house
she waited patiently for the times when she would catch
the corner of the girl’s eye
and be released, majestic
hours of melody and emotion set free by the hands of a child
who knew the pleasures of song

Pretending to be a woman
the girl’s choices placed boys before talent
fun before future
and before long, the great black queen became
a quiet forgotten love
shamelessly shoved and pulled,
carelessly secured to the back of another truck
and left behind with a stranger
who claimed and displayed her,
did not know how to touch her,
and kept her silent the rest of her days

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