He finishes the Mozart Sonata in G,
and, for a crowd-pleaser,
lies on his back on the bench,
hands over his head,
to finger Old Macdonald upside down.
He removes her bustier so everyone can see
the old girl,
Chicago 1915 upright grand,
and she flexes just a little —
lets them admire her ribs and strings.
Someone wins the door prize
for knowing Schubert died young of syphilis,
then there’s a medley of audience favorites —
from Moon River to Yankee Doodle
and Send in the Clowns.
She breathes in the sweet scent
of old pew cushions, peonies,
and air full of the memory of candles.
“Flight of the Bumblebee” is the encore
and HE gets the ovation – what’s that about?
She’s played a hundred brides down the aisle
and made them beautiful.
Her funeral Bach and Amazing Grace
have washed the tears from breaking hearts.
She never complains of boring hymns,
repetitive praise songs,
takes no offense
at Wednesday choir jokes,
the sticky hands of toddlers,
or the assessing tickle of a tuner
young enough to be her …
He strokes her, makes her decent, locks the door.
She creaks a little, just happy for the music,
his touch, this small church
where every night
her keys are played by the wind.
The player is Will Ogmundson, the beautiful piano gives her gift every Sunday at Madbury United Church of Christ. I am trying to … notice.