A girl on the stairs listens to her father
Beat up her mother.
Doors bang.
She comes down in her nightgown.

The piano stands there in the dark 
Like a boy with an orchid.

She plays what she can
Then she turns the lamp on.

Her mother's music is spread out
On the floor like brochures.

She hears her father
Running through the leaves.

The last black key
She presses stays down, makes no sound
Someone putting their tongue where their tooth had been.

From Steal Away: New and Selected Poems by C. D. Wright (Copper Canyon Press, 2002). Copyright © 1982 by C. D. Wright. Originally appeared in Translation of the Gospel Back Into Tongues: Poems, published by State University of New York Press, 1982. Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press. All rights reserved.