July 19, 2008
By Chandler West, Rock Hill, SC

A musical muse whispers
in Chopin's ear through the night.
He dreams in dazzling notes
And time signatures on crisp, white paper.
He suddenly awakens, startled.
His piano beckons.
He plays his food loudly,
sending his music up to the moon.
Neighbors despise the masterpiece
that wakes them. The landlord threatens:
Silence or eviction.

Silence aches like a ripe purple bruise.
Chopin paces the room with steps
like quick staccato notes.
Melodies thrash around inside him,
yearning to get out,
to surge through his bony fingers
and dance around on the piano keys.
Hours pass. Chopin gives in.

The piano stool feels familiar, comfortable.
Chopin stares at the keys for a few moments.
A deep breath fills his lungs and,
as he lets it out, he begins.
A lullaby drifts up from the piano.
It twists and twirls,
entwining with neighbors’ dreams,
luring them into deeper sleep.
Chopin composes a nocturne:
His gift to the night

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