10-Line Tuesday

October 14, 2014

the student

She saved the keyboard from last month's garage sale, remembering a duet
she once played with her father. Someone asked why she'd stopped, but the reasons
now feel flimsy as her grasp of the treble clef. It's never too late, she tells herself, with what
passes for encouragement, but of course, that first afternoon in front of sheet music turns
her south, and she falls, clumsy, into the heart of innocence, that place where the beginning
is the only thing. It is hard to remember that dance after all these years. Her hands clamber
up the scale, mistake after mistake, a once-elegant sonata a broken ladder of notes unfit for listening.
But listening is all she has, the room absent of an audience, the lesson absent of its teacher.
And so she stumbles, fragile as a foal, the keys a moonscape of error and wrong.
And yet, inside each tinny failure: something resembling a song.