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Piano Overture

 

He came to our apartment twice a year

to tune my mother's piano.  All day long

we tiptoed, trying not to interfere

with what to us were strange, unearthly songs.

 

He never struck a heavy, luscious chordó

only fifths, fourths, octavesóclean and spare;

brandishing his hammer like a sword,

we watched him wring concordance from the air.

 

Taut as pulled wire, he'd lean into the keys,

his practiced fingers pressing note on note,

hunting down aberrant harmonies

and any latent quaver in the throat.

 

At last the piano, gaping and undone,

its very heart exposed for all to see,

would wait in silence, chastened as a nun,

for the blasphemies of Chopin and Satie.

 

Marilyn L. Taylor

 

 

From Troika I, Thorntree Press, © 1991.  Reprinted
by permission of the author.

Background by
Purple Woods


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