Debussy hour

As the first strains of the piano
Arpeggios arch through the gloom
Of the blinds-pulled living room
You curl in my arms
Nuzzle for a breast
As if you were not outgrowing
Your babyhood
So keen to stretch skyward
When will I be a Big Girl, Mummy?
Soon enough, my lovely,
Soon enough.
This hour is my solace.
Your warm breath on my shoulder
Legs folded around my thigh
We embrace upon the sofa.
I ignore the floor
What little of it remains visible
In the chaos of your wake
Toys strewn like flotsam.
I am drowning by inches
Yet this is not playtime
I will not despair
For my once neat home
It matters little
And shall be overcome
Once we are both back on our feet.
Eyelids flutter as we reach for
The second movement
Ears adjusting to familiar rhythms
I reach for the mouse
Scroll to the next page
Of our story
Welcoming this forced pause
Suspended in our time
Inhabiting this shared space
To the end of the lullaby

Opus Number 23

You tasted pure indigo
It was all I could do to keep from
Licking at my palms
Sounds so smooth
Like chocolate, unwrapped
Lickable lines and drowsy dots
Melting into my ears
The soundwaves soothing,
Soaring and dipping
Cleansing my nervousness
As these spidery fingers kept
Stuttering their way across the keys
Klutz-kissed Chopin
Blowing through the dust
Of an afternoon’s discipline
Lost in a chessboard world
Of whirling black and white
Sweaty digits writhing on ebony
Toe curling pages
With their yellow smell
And the dullness of Instruction
Her leaden pencil marks
Numbers above the notes
Winking hide and seek
Angular strokes slashing
At my tired eyes
Teasing me with their inflexibility
A rubrik for perfection
Joints wobbling under the weight
Of the deep, deep, blue
This was the piece
The memory and the melody
My right to the slowing
Feet poised to pedal
A passage in time
This ocean of indigo
That gave me that first taste
One bittersweet number
Nose crinkling at the
Orangey tang of
Fourteen-year-old failure