Piano Recital

April 18, 2008
Dressed in a tuxedo, itchy, stiff,
he trips hesitantly onto the stage, shaking,
heart sounding louder than the crowd. A mechanical bow,
then three steps to the bench. The first beat, the first note,
and the crowd hushes. Flying and dancing
over the keys, weaving dazzling melodies
into the air. Then a stumble, a slip—
his confidence dips. He pauses for a second,
but goes on, never back. The rhythm returns, back on track,
and the piece continues, steady and sure. His heartbeat calms,
forming a metronome, guiding the music.
He reaches the final fermata, the close of the work,
the last chord pulling the audience to their feet
and he strides off, grinning.

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