The Piano

Everybody knows somebody

who owns a piano.

Grand, upright, baby, mini,

sleek and shiny, warm and wooden.


My piano teacher had

a black Yamaha. Small

enough for her cozy living room.

Big enough for me to fill with rondeaus and minuets.


The keys felt clean

like they had be swiped

with a disinfectant wipe.

Or a tissue.


Or maybe they were slippery from

dozens of fingertips sliding across

them all day, everyday. My

pinky would slip off the D# key.


My teacher told me how when she learned

herself, her teacher would balance

a dime

on the back of her hand as she played.


“The curve of your fingers makes

the back of the hand flat.

That’s the proper posture for playing,”

she says.


Her teacher would slap

the back of her hand

if it wasn’t curved enough.

She didn’t to me though. I always curved my hand.


Everybody knows somebody

who owns a piano. So

I see them everywhere.

It’s been 4 years since I played.


I can still feel the curve in my hand.

The Cliff

I can hear the silence in the Taylor Swift.

I can hear the silence in the Beyonce.

I can hear the silence in that rap song we know of

but don’t actually know.


I can hear the silence in the thundering crickets.

I can hear the silence in the lapping lake waters.

I can hear the silence in the wind that rustles dry bushes

but we can’t actually see.


Sitting on the edge of the cliff and looking out over the Okanagan waters

I can hear the silence between us. I pick

up a rock and toss it, plopping into the surface below.

Both of you laugh.

The Beach

Beaches are either blue or grey

and this beach is grey, today.


It’s easy enough to put a ring on your finger

but harder to keep it on.


I can feel the sand trickling through the hole in my shoe.

I can feel the roughness of your jacket on my cheek.


The beach will be blue, tomorrow.

The Lobby

she said it was too much for her

and she left the theatre.

I asked her when she would be back

and she said in ten years.


the sound-proof walls weren’t completely


echoes of music rolled out like a mist

over the lobby.


she was old; but not quite that old.

old enough, I thought,

as she walked away in her half inch heels.

her loose fitting grey trousers billowed around her ankles.


stop. turn. she billows

back towards me.

“Do you know where the bathrooms are?”

of course I don’t, because no one does.


“Down the hall, to the left,

down that hall, a right, a left,

through a big set of doors, and then

some little ones. To the left”


blank nod. turn.

“Have a good evening”

applause rose from the theatre, and

she was billowing down the hall.


“See you in ten years”