Monday, April 1, 2013

National Poetry Month: Piano, New York

Welcome to National Poetry Month here at Hedgehog Lover. We'll be celebrating here all month, so stop by daily to catch your daily poem. If you share a poem with me that's published here, you could win a book of gently-used poetry!


Piano, New York

Anywhere, like Idaho, women like our aunts
would save quarters in cups or sell pies
to buy one like this. They'd put it in a parlor
for hymns and rub it with lemon oil each week,
but here an old piano comes with the apartment,
and no one will pay movers to hoist
the beast out the window on ropes.
We think we've no choice but to saw into its side
that shines like the side of a horse.
We save the real ivory keys in shopping bags
and yank out the rack of purple felt mallets.
Behind it all is a harp, tall as the whole piano
and sprayed with gold. When wing nuts are loosened,
the strings twang then hang slack. We stop
for a moment, then rasp through its frame
with hacksaws and drag the thing, piece by piece,
down three flights of stairs to the street
where people walking by recognize—
just from its insides—a piano.

by Julia Kasdorf
from Sleeping Preacher. © Pittsburgh University Press, 1992.
Courtesy The Writer's Almanac

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