Jonathan B. Aibel

The Shadow of Her Piano

During my lesson years,
the only one at the keyboard
of our upright spinet was me.

I hated when my mother listened
with helpful suggestions at each mistake.
Mostly I practiced in the empty house, after

school, ignored etudes for The Fireside Book,
played Annie Laurie, sang along in Scots:
we did that one in sixth grade chorus.

Even now, I can’t picture my mother
sitting on the piano bench.

Five-year-old me snuggled up,
Eden-touched, as she picks out
The Shadow of Your Smile

or some other old movie tune.
Mom said, It never leaves you,
meaning the piano.

Jonathan B. Aibel is a recovering software engineer who lives in Concord, MA, homelands of the Nipmuc. His poems have been published, or will soon appear, in Chautauqua, American Journal of Poetry, Lily Poetry Review, Ocean State Review, Pangyrus, and elsewhere.

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