Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Piano Lessons

by Gail Davern

They lasted until ten at night,
the continual counting
and striking of wrong notes.
My life at home was
a musical parade of students
my mother taught while I was
in the back of the house
doing homework and
preparing dinner, so she
wouldn’t have to leave her
chair by the piano.
“No, no. Play it again.”
I would cringe to hear,
wanting the right note to be struck.
Twilight ended and the lamp
would be turned on to cast
a honey glow over the keys.
When the student left,
there was a brief silence
until the next student came.
I fantasized that the silence
could go on forever and my mother,
after a long day of work, could rest,
but Brahms interrupted and the
music lulled me to sleep.

* * * * *

Gail Davern was born in London, England. She emigrated to the U.S. where she completed her university undergraduate and graduate degrees. Her work has appeared in Aileron, Alura, CQ, Crosscurrents, and the Salal Review, among other literary magazines. She was recently name finalist for the International Literary Awards: Rita Dove Award, and her chapbook, From the Island at the End of Winter was published by Finishing Line Press. She teaches at Skagit Valley College in Washington state and lives on Whidbey Island.

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