Upon the Ivories

Twas at the ripe old age of two
I made my heartfelt plea,
No dolls or prams or tiny cups
My love was ivory.

A mighty ask from one so young
Alas was not to be,
They didn’t have the music gene
The passion, time or means.

At Leila’s I would disappear
My fingers gently splayed,
Upon the yellowed white and black
I finally learnt to play.

I listened hard and played by heart
A simple tune or two,
The Entertainer, Fur Elise
The Rose to name a few.

It wasn’t very often that
I got a chance to play,
Recorder, strings and flute
Soon filled my every day.

And yet my heart still yearned
To brush the ivories,
To let myself get lost again
In Mozart’s melodies.

In high school stood a poor old soul
Locked in the music hall,
And oft I’d beg to stay awhile
Or just not ask at all.

The old familiar tunes soon came
Into my hands again,
I practiced hard, but teenage angst
A wall between two friends.

School days gone, no cash, no time
No chance that I could see,
Of ever learning how to play
The music locked in me.

And then one day I said enough
The bullet I did bite,
I took myself to lessons
Practiced hard with all my might.

Practiced hard upon a keyboard
Hating every single sound,
But knowing it was all I had
It helped me stand my ground.

Two times I found, pianos old
In hopes they’d be the one,
The first was warped, the second had rot
I thought this can’t be done.

And then one day, a call, a chance
To have my very own,
An old soul, worn and very loved
Would finally grace my home.

I held my hands above the keys
Too scared to make a start,
A dream, not true, could this be real?
If not, a broken heart.

Although untuned the sound was pure
I played a tune or two,
Then broke down crying, 40 years
My wish had just come true.

Today she stands in all her glory
Polished, loved and tuned,
My heart soon gained more confidence
As the music flowed on through.

Sometimes I wish my folks had seen
The gift I held so dear,
And had I been allowed to play
Would’ve been a few less tears.

I’ll never know what could have been
Too old, too slow, these days,
But I’ll be forever grateful
For the chance to finally play.

So if your baby comes to you
With tears upon her face,
And begs for a piano
Please don’t put her in her place.

It might be hard, it might take time
But worth it, it will be,
When her hands light for the first time
Upon the ivories.

© Annie Whitehead 2014

Written in response to Writing 101, Poetry. Day 1 Magic




2 thoughts on “Upon the Ivories

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