When I Play the Piano This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

April 15, 2010
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The Musician's Father
When I was small
I played the piano
Imagining my fingers were ballerinas
As I pounded the keys
You used to sing along
And you marched to the beat
When I played “Pomp and Circumstance”

You held those same hands
That played those songs
As we walked together

I introduced you to my friends
As “Mr. Crazy”
You laughed
And called me “Mrs.”

When I got older
I played the violin
Bowing songs from the strings
Making it sing

You listened and were proud
But couldn't understand
When I stopped playing the piano
And wouldn't hold your hand

I learned the mandolin
And promised to teach you to play
But around that time the rift between us grew
Neither could see the other's side
And we each had to have
The very last word

You tried to reach back
But it was fruitless
I just drew back
Taking my anger
And putting it into my music

One day I reached up
And touched a piano's keys
I played a song

You rejoiced
Thinking it was some kind of reconciliation
But I played my own songs
Full of hurt
And pain

As I got older I kept playing
And sometimes piano
The rift still grows
And now
I play
The bass

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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