I always envied Joy Little’s piano,
its keys marked with letters,
the first piano I ever saw.
Farmers didn’t seem to have them.
I sat in awe as she played,
I can’t remember now what.
What puzzles me is what I was doing
in Joy Little’s house.
It seems we were waiting for the school bus.
Or was her mother the one
who made my Mary Christmas costume
for the play,
red crepe paper trimmed
with white cotton balls.
My mother didn’t sew.
I don’t know how I got there
or why,
I just remember the keys.
And after that I wanted into that magic
I couldn’t comprehend.
But all my siblings had quit,
the clarinet – or whatever they played.
And my mother said I would too.
She was wrong in her assessment
of who I would be.
I have always been loyal.
I never played the piano.
I could have given myself lessons
when I was grown,
but I had learned to not
believe in myself by then
so I never did,
but sat and listened
to my daughter play