Sitting stiff next to the piano bench
I follow the notes spread out
flying by too fast for me to keep up.
The pianist plays the written music
as if trapped in a timed pop quiz, forcing him
to keep going even if his answers are incorrect.
Molten crescendo rare audience cough
trespass on silent air. Sugared sound
blankets the stage, honey on a teaspoon.
According to how the Brahms song affects him
the pianist rocks side to side like Ray Charles.
Time to turn that dreadful page . . .
not Brahmsa Chopin nocturne
brooding a fountain of magenta
and greys. The audience nods new rhythm.
Perspiring, the pianist taps toes.
Arm elongated, I flip the music now
a Bach partita measured after romantics.
The audience accepts middle of a Sarabande
pianist piloting fingers prancing.
The next page I turn is scrawled in Bartok
black and white with some brown noise.
Braving the last screeching chord
the pianist stands to take his bow with a flourish.
I exit the stage and wonder if it was my fault.
Copyright 2003 Kathy Wehrenberg