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Piano teacher November 17, 2007

Posted by vsap in Blogroll, Poetry, Uncategorized.

This is like learning to play the piano, he said,

important for tomorrow but a terrible anguish today.

It hardly seems worth the effort if you look at the present pain,

he said, and so many do and so many fail unnecessarily.

I don’t remember when I was a boy, I’ve blocked out the tears,

he said, those tears of terror that stood at the door of

my imagination to block sleep from coming in, taking over.

So, he said, you can understand my hesitation when you ask to quit,

dismissing the years and hours as if they were useless,

as if the music gave no instruction, as if to underscore the shame.

He said, I don’t want to block the doorway, I don’t want to kiss off

fifty dollars a week and neither do you want to donate it to

an ungrateful, uncharitable teacher, begging your faithfulness.

How can a shake of the head an shrug of the shoulders be

sufficient answer, he said, for the days shared side-by-side,

days shared grinding to the moment when you would take flight,

solo, like the eaglet pushed from the nest only to discover the

ultimate joy of flight, the strength of a first accomplishment.

He said, but you don’t look for that joy, you don’t have that passion,

you look forward to a warm cup of cocoa and television,

gnawing away at  your time, stealing your talent and youth.

Nevertheless, I dropped the key to his flat in his hand and turned,

now some thirty years ago,  and as I stand gazing at what remains of him

comfortably laid in this casket, missile to the afterworld, he called it,

I think that he was right, back then, in his own way and today in mine.



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