My Mother’s Piano

Posted: December 3, 2011 in Poet; Writer; Author
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My Mother’s Piano

I bought my mother

a piano once.

Long ago, she had played

as a young girl growing

up inBaltimore.

I wanted to recapture that

and in her eyes, I think

I did when she stepped

into the living room

and I released the blindfold

for her to see.  She fell into

me and said, “it’s the

best gift I’ve ever received.”

She played, privately at first,

when no other family

member was around.

Her delicate fingers dancing

shyly across the keys

like the touch

on a new lover’s face.

From another room, I listened

as her practices became once

more ~ quite perfect.

She never stopped until

the rheumatoid arthritis set in.

It was after that

the piano sat,

collecting dust for years

until her untimely death.

My dad sold the piano,

and I did not know

until after it was already

gone and there was nothing

he could do to cushion

the blow.

I couldn’t understand why ~

why he gave away

this part of mother we often

times still heard play.

And I don’t think I ever

forgave him.

Not just for giving up

the piano, but most

            for giving up

            my mother’s


© Susan Joyner-Stumpf

  1. OHHH Susan.. I love this… I am crying…so beautiful.. I can see your mother at the piano, practicing… strumming her fingers on the keys.. I love this.. so wonderful awesome.. Susan BRAVO..

  2. Deb, thank you so much. I can still see the look in her eyes, that light…..just as easily I can rememeber the day the lights went out, when she could no longer play the pain was so bad in her swollen, crippled fingers. I thought that Piano would be in our family forever. When I moved away, and over the years, my father’s failing health forced him to get rid of a lot of stuff, and I guess I just assumed he would give me all the family heirloom antiques, and my mother’s piano. I was so shocked to walk in the house and find that little corner in the living room where the piano used to be, empty and forlorn. I could close my eyes and still hear the sounds of her fingers flying across the keys.

    I truly felt that when my father disposed of it so effortlessly and carelessly, that he was giving up more than just something that was taking up space. He sold something that meant something to us, to our lives so torn apart: he had gotten rid of a part of my mother….the last remaining thing she loved, and he sold it for next to nothing I’m sure, not knowing its worth; and besides, it was priceless anyway.

    He sold her ghost and I will, and have, never forgiven him.

  3. that’s what is happening to me as we speak.. the things I gave my mom I wanted and they are already gone I have no idea who took them.. I am so hurt. I guess no one really wants anything to do with me.. So glad i have you and Lee as friends…this really was beautiful.. thank you for writing..

  4. I’m sorry to hear that Deb, I had no idea. I hope everything turns out okay.

  5. Well that’s ok.. I have you and Lee..

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