the piano in the corner | Teen Ink

the piano in the corner

September 27, 2014
By Purplei96 PLATINUM, Oxford, Georgia
Purplei96 PLATINUM, Oxford, Georgia
27 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
Nihil Sine Nefas

I'm that piano

The one sitting

In the corner

All alone

I'm covered with

Grime from

A thousand

Hands touching

Never playing

And the

Smoke-filled bar

That used to

Be over there

It's now a

Posh restaurant

And the new owners

Just left me

Here in

My corner

Because they

Couldn't figure out

How to get

A once-grand piano

Out of

Non-grand sized

Windows and doors

There's an

Old man that

Lives about

Fifty miles away

That could

Tell them

That the

Place was

Built around me


Daddy's little girl

Wanted to give Mommy

A very special present

Along with

The house that

They were building

And put me in

Before they put

The walls up

Mommy loved the present

She loved


And she’d always

Sit with me


Coaxing a

Lullaby to help

Her little girl sleep

I’m not sure

What happened

To that family

But one day

Someone in

A blue uniform

Interrupted her

As she was

Caressing me

And said something

In low urgent tones

She paled as white

As the ivory

My keys are

And grabbed

Her little girl

And ran out

Of the room

Barely remembering

To lock the door

Behind her

She didn’t come back

Her sister came

To pack everything

Into cardboard boxes

A family’s lives

Put away into

Neat little

Tan cubes

The next people

That came here

Didn’t really care

About me

They’d use me

As a table

Or a chair

Just perch whatever

They wanted to

On top of me

They didn’t

Last very long

Then it was empty

For a long time

One of the windows

Was broken

So the cold wind

Made me all

Out of tune

Then these new people

Came in

Ripping up the

Musty old carpet

Showing the

Hardwood floors

That I remembered from the bar

They rebuilt the kitchen

And put wires into

The floor and ceiling

They didn’t touch me though

Except to drape

A heavy cloth over

When they were painting

And soon it

Became a restaurant

With velvet curtains

And polished floors

I was half hidden

Behind leafy plants

And well placed shelves

Left to become memories

But there's a

Tiny handprint

On a leg from

A toddler that

Got away from

An inattentive mom

Who was talking

On the phone

To her sister

When she noticed

Her kid was halfway

Across the room

And an inch

Away from

Licking me

She ran

Her heels clicking

On hardwood floors

Yanking her

Little baby back

As if I was


The mom kept on

Coming back

Because she liked

The food

And liked

The waiter even more

And I got

A collection

Of fingerprints and smudges

Each slightly higher

Than the one before

Each lasting longer

Than the one before

As the mom flirted

With the guy who

Brought her food

And gave her his heart

Along with the dessert plate

They didn’t show up

For a while

But the next time

They all came together

And the adults had

Matching rings

On their left hands

That they kept glancing at

And smiling softly

The kid

Made it all the way

On the bench this time

As the former waiter

Whispered something

To the mother

I watched the kid grow up

As his parents came

Back to the place

They’d first met

Sharing glances

I hadn’t seen

Since daddy’s little girl

Plotted with her father

To give the best

Mother’s day present ever

When the kid

Was about the height

Of the man he’d

Called father ever

Since he could remember

A man came in

To tune and polish me

To a shine I

Barely rembered

The two of them

Came in one day

And started dancing

In the space

Between tables

Excited that they’d

Bought the place

They’d first met

Their son

Sat down at

My bench


And started caressing me

With touches

I hadn’t felt

Since the place

Around me used to be

A place where

Mommy would wheedle

Lullabies as daddy’s little girl

Was rocked to sleep

In daddy’s lap

Or when someone

Would play the

Recommendations given

To them by a person

With their hands clasped

Around a glass

Filled with amber fire

The same smile is on his face

One part wonder

At the sounds

I’m making for him

And two parts


To not mess up

His gift to

His parents

The plants and dividers

Were removed

And I was

Center stage

I got played

More often

Sometimes by him

And later

After the mom and former waiter

Had turned white

With age and

The toddler who’d left smudges

On a grimy piano

Brought in a girl

And later,

They got matching rings

And even later,

They brought in a baby

And played lullabies to it

As it gurgled

And sat it on their laps

As they grazed

My keys lightly

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