Grande Valse Brilliante This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

November 22, 2016
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At nine, I began to play:
very big, shiny black, with eighty-eight keys
fifty-two white and thirty-six black, if you
really do insist
producing familiar notes at the stroke of a hand, like a harp, only

harder and less sharp.

I did not falter to touch, so the sounds came out
of the mysterious emptiness beneath the wing
that most often stood half turned up,
although, in fact, there was no monster making music in the night,
when the kids are asleep and he can write …
only pure science
something I am glad I was not told at the time, only nine

some words are better left unsaid.

Innocence is so precious, and oftentimes forgotten,
but think about the last time you believed
in the magical,
the phantoms who ride through the waves,
the shadows hiding under your bed,
and then answer me this: do you agree that it is best to nod when your little one talks
of creatures who strike their tunes with
enchanted hammers
and that the brooding wing is there to avoid
the Secret from getting out
the top-secret Secret that only this little one knows to help
a child’s wandering
mind grow?

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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