Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I Could Have Played Piano ...

Once upon a time, my grandparents had a piano. I believe it was for my mother, but I never heard her play it.

It sat in our living room. I remember a piano tuner coming once to do his magic on it. But mostly it just sat. Oh, I plinked and plunked on it when nobody was looking. But, of course, I couldn't play it.

I didn't feel deprived, and I don't now. There was that imposing upright musical instrument which fed my imagination. I dreamed of playing it someday ... like I dreamed of many other things.

Then one day it was sold. Strangers came to move that magical creation carefully through the front door, down the front steps and into the truck.

And that was that ... except for the poem (be prepared for a slight twist with this one), originally published in Midwest Poetry Review:

I Could Have Played Piano

My long, skinny fingers

itching for things to do,

toes just barely reaching

the pedals, and my bottom

gripping the slippery edge

of the bench, I dreamed

of playing ragtime, gospel,

boogie-woogie, maybe even

some of that girl-pleasing,

tough, classical stuff.

What I did was what

seemed to come naturally.

With only one lesson,

I flung myself into all

of the old favorites,

playing each several times

before going exuberantly

to the next. Finally,

Grandpa admitted he was

sorry he had taught me

what could be wrought

with a comb and paper.

Oh, I could have played

piano, no doubt, but my lips

wouldn't feel all numb

and fuzzy, like they do now.

© 1997

Afterthoughts ... in response to your comments:

I just might try those lessons, Meg ... even though I have visions of driving some poor, unsuspecting teacher up the wall. Meanwhile, I shall continue my listening. I'm a fan of piano, even when I don't know the title of what's being played. But violin is my favorite ... it has so many voices, can convey so many moods. Thanks for your suggestion.


Today's word: fuzzy

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Summer Dancers ...

I thought you might not mind a summer poem today, a mini-break from what remains of winter.

I'm not quite ready for an abrupt plunge into summer weather, mind you ... I can take a transition to spring first. I do find myself thinking more of summer, though, in this opposite season. I don't tolerate winter cold as well as I once did, and shoveling has become more of a chore.

Of course, when summer really comes, I'll probably find myself thinking of crisp, cool mornings, the sun glinting on a new covering of snow ... my search for mittens and scarf.

Meanwhile, here's a glimpse of a place long, long ago and far away, originally published in Capper's:

Summer Dancers

Flecks of sunlight

descend through

the leafy canopy,

dancing on the path,

still dancing

after the breeze

has gone off

toward a hillside

lush with wheat

that slowly leans

and straightens,

as though hearing

soft music, too.

© 2001


Today's word: canopy