Remembrances=Pat, Mike, Crystal, Joyce = Day 18: aaduna's NPM Celebration


This nine foot grand piano has logged many miles
Seen many transformations
Gave so much to us all

Originally spirited from New York City from Mitch Miller's practice studio,
she made her way to a Syracuse music store
Where very poor newlyweds discovered their first prized possession

Off this prize went to our small farmhouse
Where the floorboards creaked and moaned in protest
Supports were soon placed in the basement
So she could rest safely on the first floor

Still, her sturdy structure left her marks
With dips and swells, bumps and scratches
"Watch your step" became our constant mantra

We had a farm, but my husband was first and foremost a musician
Classically trained and immensely talented
He didn't hesitate to rush home after his Dad's passing
To become man of the manor

Countless hours of Chopin and Mozart
Piano students in and out of the house
Soon, he'd be teaching his favorite student, our baby daughter
Who blossomed under Poppo's tutelage

Later, The Muppet theme and The Rainbow Connection
Became part of his repertroire
Holidays and celebrations
Were centered around this -
Our fifth family member, the heart of our home

Then, the economy turned sour
The "small family farm" was becoming extinct
Finally, painfully, we sold the farm and moved eight miles away
But a world apart

Marty began selling pianos
Eventually buying his own store
And for fifteen years, we did well

Once again, the economy declined, this time more severe
Folks weren't buying luxury items
And piano lessons weren't top priority

But never did we consider selling our piano
To offset expenses
Suddenly, illness struck the pianist
So catastrophic that the music stopped in our house
A good day was marked by the familiar sound of beautiful music
We could all breathe for a moment

When he passed, it seemed that this lovely giant mourned, too
But she stood proudly paying homage to her master and friend
Now, after eight years, she will travel to Albany where she'll live
In my daughter's Victorian home.  Circa 1905
There, she may someday teach her child about music
And her dad and tradition

© 2017 Pat D’agostino                                   
Auburn, New York 
Pat D'agostino (photo provided)

* * *

Writer's Almanac

This Blaise Pascal guy
was pretty heavy
back in the day.
Imagine air having weight.
He did. I can't. And that is why
there's vacuums. Pressure exerted
on a fluid in a closed vessel
sounds equivalent to oppression
if you ask me. And perhaps Pascal
didn't roll that way but
that's how probability goes:
Hostilities mount
between God and numbers.
Right angles, and Heaven's

© 2014 Mike Jurkovic                        
Wallkill, New York                

Mike Jurkovic (photo provided)

* * *

Until the End

Sometimes it’s the first few notes of a piano played with nimble fingers
that shatter the calm of a lonely drive on a winter’s day
the sky dark while I rage and pound the steering wheel
remembering the moment I heard the words telling me you were gone.

Sometimes it’s the first few cords wrung with heartrending beauty
from a black and silver guitar like the one that you used to play while I lay beside you
lost in a world only we could know, clinging to one another
wishing the whole world would fade away

and sometimes it’s a whisper on a night that’s dark and long
when I watch the shadows play along the wall
and listen to the wind carry you voice from a lifetime away
Who could have known there’d be no goodbyes when we promised each other forever.

Tearstained anniversaries and a million regrets,
a hundred questions, a thousand what ifs, and a single image of a mocking grave.

They could bury your body but I’ve seen your soul in an endless string of highway signs
screaming to me from ocean waves like you’re still out their surfing, and laughing, and showing off.

How could you be gone when I still see you in the shadows of every room you used to walk?
How can I forget that I was yours long before I was anything else that mattered?
If a whisper in the night could bring you back then I’ll listen for every whisper
until the end.

© 2014 Crystal Berche                                   
Osage, Virginia

Crystal Berche (photo provided)

* * *


“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This is a world in arms.”   
--Dwight D. Eisenhower “Chance for Peace”

Did we put all the money in the packets?
At the beginning of the line where everyone was lined
Up horizontal and even for the dash—

did everyone have the same amount in the packets we stuffed?

We’ve never done that
though we heard that if we did the same
people would end up with extra
packets again; the same two-jobs, back-
to-back, mortgage-problem people with slobber-sick-kids
with fewer packets.

Everyone elected would come in
first. Everyone already in would come in
again, first,
everyone with most of the packets says.


it would be fun stuffing
the packets evenly


© 2014 Joyce Miller                           
Cincinnati, Ohio                     
Joyce Miller (photo provided)

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