on Apr 12 in Poems by

The boy sitting at the piano is seven. 

He is wearing pajamas and swinging his feet.  

Above him is a poster of a mountain village

we bought before he was born, when we were still

a couple, waiting uneasily for our first child together. 

It was dicey for a while, but soon we knew

our time was over and there was only him.

He plays the Hungarian Dance with a jaunty beat. 

His curly head bobs and his shoulders bounce.

Once in a while, I help him find a missing chord.

The boy knows things we don’t know.

Like what a B flat sounds like in his head.

Across town, his mother is furious.

When she is without him, she can’t console herself.

When she looks at him, she sees weakness.

He needs structure, hates loud noises, and misses

many of the cues the rest of us take too personally.

Leaning over, I show him that G sharp is also

A flat.  “That’s like having two houses,” he says.

Here and at his mother’s, he is the same boy.

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