There’s the piano bought for the child
more than four decades ago, upright

though warped and long untuned.
I can still smell the resin

in the wood, but where’s the pleasure
of the song once pressed to the keys,

which the mother rehearsed
each evening? Fingers released

their energy to the string— and out
rolled a note, out through the levers

and dampers and bushing, into the billow
of the ear. Too many seasons of rain,

too much counting, worrying, accounting.
The living have joined the dead,

the dead no longer need to believe in dreams.
Words don’t die, do they? And who needs to use up

happiness? Ashes go back into the earth to become
trees, become feathered horn-beetle’s eyelashes.


In response to Via Negativa: Planetoid.

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