No one knows when my wife plays the piano
that it’s the upright I stole from my boss,
the torn, yellowed leather side panels
(now totally resurfaced)
that once looked like hell,
 
or the hammers that had to be replaced,
and the broken loud/soft foot pedal;
it was a time my wife and I were at a loss
to save our marriage, and the shallow
affairs no one knows
 
about almost ended it once and for all—
so we decided to pull up stakes and go.
I never returned the piano—he knows.
No one else knows.

More by Stephen Gibson

The Piano

When she plays the piano and I’m half listening
as I read in the newspaper the terrible history
of some person doing something,
I’ll look over at her, and she’s
turning a sheet, reading,
 
each finger effortlessly finding the next key,
and then moving on to the next, finding
her proper place, which is part memory,
part paying attention to a thing.
When she plays the piano,
 
I like to think she’s somehow included me,
but it’s the missed note that brings
her back to Earth, a wrong key
when she plays.