November PAD 6

The Memory of Objects

When my daughter plays the piano,
it sounds like a musical hallucination—
clusters of chords beating each other up
sharps and flats battling for supremacy
in this time before piano lessons.
The upright, a found gift from the man
who was once my husband,
stands with its back against the wall.
The wood has lost all luster,
its voice is in need of tuning,
yet when she plays,
I can hear us in her—
her hands are hammers
reinterpreting our chaos
with the faintest hint of sweetness.
I swear she can make someone
else’s sadness her music
as it travels beyond black and white
which makes you feel subdued
by this off-key melody
as if it is the only tune you’ll ever carry again
and somehow you’re supposed to live with it
and somehow you’re supposed to transcend it.

(Not sure if the shift in person toward the end works. Thoughts?


Jim K. said…
One of those 'grammatically correct
but awk' things.
You'll and you're are legit, for the
rhetorical. So the big picture's OK.
The speed-bump is with the "I swear"
person. Something like "seems like"
lowers the bump. Or you can do a full
set-off, "I swear" /comma/carr.return,
for 'I meant that' airs.
DJ Vorreyer said…
I think the whole poem would work in second person and really hammer the ending. Just a thought.
Jim K. said…
Aha..and maybe drop 'I swear'. Assume
the asserted. Poetry prefers supposition
over explanation...walking into the fire.
More 'you' gives room. (?)
January said…
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll take a look at writing the poem in second person, Donna.

And Jim, thanks for the "I swear" feedback. I usually don't go there but it seemed to work when I was writing it.
Jim K. said…
Sometimes I have to leave
the qualifiers in during
construction and take
them out later. Convert from
conversation to 'speeching' only
when I have to. It's like I
need them to think at first, or to
keep from getting strutty.

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