Practice starts at 9, once commuter
cars are gone and the last trudging
backpack climbs aboard a yellow bus.
Warming up on Bach, the quiet room
in her empty house amplifies the solitary
reverence she feels throughout Adagio.
As presto notes begin to pour from
Chopin’s Fantasie, she hears a few high
peeps like toddlers romping in the grass.
Slowing, playing softly when she begins
the melodic cantabile, a birdsong chorus
bursts from shrubbery beside her window.
As the final key reverberates and fades
a sparrow carries over as though already
longing for tomorrow morning’s lesson.
Raymond Byrnes lives in Virginia. His work has been read on The Writer’s Almanac and has appeared in Third Wednesday, Shot Glass Journal, All Roads Will Lead You Home, Typishly, Better Than Starbucks, Eclectica, Sky Island Journal, and Split Rock Review.