The Deadly Piano

A complete rewrite of a twenty year old poem. 

She sits with her hands
twisting in her lap 
like kittens in a basket.

Her voice is just as furry
when she says, “I swear to God,
I can hear a piano

coming through the wall.” I hear nothing,
but try to soothe her by saying,
“Yes, it’s next door, they really like ragtime,”

and she clarifies, “NO, I MEAN A REAL PIANO
IS COMING THROUGH THE REAL WALL!
THE WHOLE DAMN THING IS BREAKING

ALL THE WAY THROUGH!”  I tell her she’s safe
and shake her noon pills from the sorter,
pour a glass of water.

She believes the walls exist
the same way I used to believe in God,
the same way she believes in the deadly piano.

I feel like I’m standing
watching a house burn
on the edge of a wilderness

as I rock her in my arms
amid the smell of smoke,
the soft meow she makes

in her sleep, 
the faint sound of music
from somewhere else.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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