A Sum That Led Me Here by Nancy Schatz Alton
My center spills into this day; I catch its edges with classical music.
The notes promise epiphany; a recycling bin rolls down the drive.
I know how long it takes to learn a melody, one line at a time.
My brother writes, Remember the thunderstorm that was coming?
Lately I’m playing the piano again, always songs I knew well long ago.
The notes promise epiphany, its pattern soothes my edges.
I still carry my teenage heart, every want a yearning still.
I know how long it takes to learn a melody, the past shakes into now.
Now is sweeter, my daughter frosts cupcakes on our bread board.
Lately I’m playing the piano, songs repeating, new feeling mixing-in.
Nothing is lost, old sadness wells up into the same old melody.
My teenage heart yearns to belong in a past I no longer live within.
I live here, the piano old, fully belonging to these rooms I play within.
The sweet now, rain dazzles the red leaves resting on the pine tree.
I made people with my husband, they like me best when I’m laughing.
Nothing is lost, I always laughed loudly, sad songs hold me tight.
My own teens make their own stories, nothing like mine.
I live next to them, the piano old, fully belonging to what we made from scratch.
My daughters sing in tune together, I learn their melodies by listening.
My center spills and plays, classical music a soundtrack for my hours.