The Keys


My attention span
is five fingers long.

I can hardly riff beyond a seventh chord.

Arpeggios start on the odd thumb
and end where my hand lifts
to fall.

I tease the middle black buttons
like roley poley bugs, aiming for the edge
of the garden, and pounce, lion loud,
on the family of flattened thirds.

My parents sold the upright,
augmented with the bicycle chains, knowing
it would come to this anyway;

dancing in one pant leg before church,
trying to make the change fit
the times.