Learning by Heart – Laura Foley

I was seven, couldn’t sleep,
fearing my French teacher,
afraid I couldn’t learn
a line I had to memorize.

Mom, trilling the night’s
loneliest hour, at the piano,
made up a lilting song,
to help me remember—

I did, and still do,
her voice etched in tenderness,
fingers running over the keys,
somewhere deep inside me.

L FoleyLaura Foley is the author of six poetry collections, variously honored with the Foreword Book of the Year Award (Silver), finalist for the NH Writer’s Project’s Outstanding Book of Poetry, and the Bisexual Writer’s Award. Her seventh book is forthcoming from Headmistress Press. Her poems have won numerous awards, and national recognition—read by Garrison Keillor on Prairie Home Companion and The Writers Almanac. At Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Los Angeles Master Chorale performed composer Dale Trumbore’s “How to Go On,” based on her and two other poets’ work. She has a B.A. from Barnard College and an M. Phil. in English and Comparative Literature (Everything But Dissertation) from Columbia University. www.laurafoley.net