The Mother Lode
My husband was never without a piano, its keys
touchstones. Their intimacy as sacred
as communion. Whether rented, borrowed,
or finally bought, the instrument might be
a spinet, an upright, even a baby grand.
Never a Casio or Yamaha.
What can a two-year-old remember
of his mother—concert pianist, beautiful
and beguiling, Lyda, who died too young?
A baby left behind. He once told me
that as a child, he took refuge under
the grand piano that stood forever
silent in his Victorian home. Solace
in moments of sadness or when he’d misbehaved
and his stepmother promised
the wooden paddle in the basement. I imagine
his mother seated at the spinet in our house,
luminous, ethereal, a lithe phantom,
her hands motionless, poised gracefully above the keys.
In the background, his stereo playing Brahms’s
waltz for piano, Opus 39, Number 15.
Sandi Stromberg’s full-length collection, Frogs Don't Sing Red, was published by Kelsay Books in April 2023 and includes several works nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. She edited Untameable City: Poems on the Nature of Houston, recommended reading by the Houston Chronicle, and for Museum of the Big Bend co-edited Echoes of the Cordillera, ekphrastic poems based on the photography of Jim Bones. Most recently, her poetry has appeared in Panoplyzine, San Pedro River Review, The Ekphrastic Review, and Unknotting the Line: The Poetry in Prose. She is an editor at The Ekphrastic Review. Her poetry, translated into Dutch, can be found at Brabant Cultureel and on the website of Dutch poet, Albert Hagenaars.
The Ekphrastic Review
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