A Sum That Led Me Here

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.


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