growing the piano
we planted everything we could think of.
earrings & the old oboe & my father's
stamp collection, all in the softening
early spring earth. at night then
we gathered to pour milk into soil.
my father added beer & whiskey.
i kneeled & wept. a daughter is a place
a family stores their sobbing
& their ribbons. my hair flew away
as a great red hawk. power lines grinned
at our work. all we wanted was the piano.
the finally & the forest laden.
watching as the dirt swelled
on the first night she grew. how in the house
we all ate nothing but blue potatoes.
boiling blankets. the billyard ball moon.
none of us knew how to play a piano of course.
"not yet," dad would say. a song is a ticket
out of history. everything we wanted to sing
arrived in our bedrooms as moths.
ate holes in our vision. thread bare.
runs in stockings. i was the first to see
the piano bloom. keys spat from earth.
morning sun, a bowl of mardarin oranges.
i tried to imagine ways to steal the piano
for myself. to peel "family" from my bones.
there was no where to go. just the beast
in the same dirt as the tomatoes.
i sat at the bench. too a walk across
only the black notes. it was as if
the creature was saying, "no more
no more." then, my father came
& lugged body from dirt. my mother watched
still in her night clothes & holding
the cast iron morning sausage pan.
"this is our son," dad said. "look at him."