January 27, 2012 § 9 Comments

You thumb
at the collar of your cable-knit sweater and I
The parents were here tonight.
Khaki pants and loafers let me know
this must have been
recital night.
you teach in those holey-kneed jeans and
droopy flannel, like
a lumberjack at the keys
Ha! Confrey*
should have written that
I wonder how you’d sound to him?
Giant fingers that never seem
to tickle the ivories –
For rarely
have I heard your piano laugh
your hands
against those keys
are more like trains to rails
powerful rattling pounding
with increasing speed
and I imagine that
is how it would look to me –
a steam engine
shiny black
against unfinished hardwood
Imagine – because I have yet to see.
I wish those stairs weren’t so creaky
The halls of that old church house
funnel so much sound at me
all the little ones learning violin
(and you know how musical that is!)
beneath it all, I hear the rumblings
the way you feel that distant train
beneath your feet
but when I get close enough
to hear you clearly
(the kind of hearing I could only do
when you don’t know I’m nearing)
I hit that wooden landing,
that bottom creaky step
and instead of locomotive
melodic emotion
all I hear instead is
“Jessica, come on in.”

*Reference to “Kitten on the Keys,” composed by Zez Confrey.


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