|The Music Lesson by Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675)|
like mine, as you lay them down
on the piano keys:
Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater...
Eden is a garden of the mind,
an amusement park where every ride is free.
“Would you like to learn another song?”
I ask, but you are smiling now,
apple in hand.
“Only on the black keys,”
you answer. "I like them best."
Together we play the dark
harmonies of earth.
My father asked how often I play now,
remembering me at the piano.
“Not often,” I answered, then tried to say why
but it was like trying to lay flat the pages
of a book of songs while keeping the melody going
with one hand, or watching the sheet music slip off
in the breeze of a door opening
and closing again, something invisible passing
through and pulling shut with the click of a latch.
Sometimes when I have the evening to myself
I flick on the piano light and play
three or four measures in joy before the sorrow
arrives, left hand, bass clef. I close up the music,
twist the light back off, and turn away
from the chamber of soft hammers I’ve built in my heart.
Send one poem only to wildamorris[at]ameritech[dot]net (substitute the @ sign for “at” and a . for “dot”). Put “February Poetry Challenge Submission” in the subject line of your email. Include a brief bio that can be printed with your poem if you are a winner this month. Please put your name and bio under the poem in your email.