The piano would not fit through the door
of the shingled house with the western view.
The black and ivory keys I caressed each day
could not bend through breezeway & kitchen
to wait until my hands grew large enough for lessons.
Only my father’s accordion entered this house
to gather dust in its black case in the cellar.
Standing on the back seat of our grey Buick
I’d play the front seat like a keyboard and belt out 
“Singing in the rain.  I’m singing in the rain.”
Walking home from Washington School,
I’d dance in musicals of my own making.
Sometimes in summer Dad would get out his accordion
to play “Bonaparte’s Retreat” and “The Beer Barrel Polka”.
Something happened in junior high.
The whole family became cacti. The music stopped.
I was grounded more than I roamed free.
I went to the Brooklyn Fox but said I was going bowling.
We were the only white kids in a black audience swaying to
Sam the Sham, The Four Tops, The Shirelles.
The joint was jumping and I’d go again tomorrow.
But the concert went on and on and I missed my curfew.
It was the only time my father ever hit me - a face slap for lying.
But damn that music was great.

3 thoughts on “THE PIANO

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