On Piano Lessons
by Laurie Kolp

The bench was a park was a piano.
I’d sit and play cadences while marching-
a soldier standing tall and proud
through lofty woods and thick underbrush,
“Catch me if you can!”

My fingers ran the ivories ran the obstacle course
in the heat of summer’s sun, a fluorescent lamp.
The metronome went back and forth, perfect time--
tick, tock, tick, tock; left, right, left, right…
Left, right, left.
My back hurts,
my bra’s too tight…

“Pay attention,” Ms. Goode would say,
and I was back inside at the piano, on the bench--
a dead horse beaten by a crackling voice
whose minty breath was the pine was the earth.

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