An Imperfect Beauty


United States
39° 51' 48.0024" N, 121° 51' 22.5396" W

Bought by my grandma, than passed
on to my mother, who then
passed it to me, is a little
piano with the notes
written on the
Though old and worn as a school girl's first
love letter, creases so deep the words
are hard to decipher, and yet every
syllable is known by heart,
it bravely trudges on
with its broken
Three generations, brought together by a single object:
The long-ago ruined latch; a hand-drawn heart
proclaiming a school love that will last
"4-Ever"; nail polish smeared on
keys from impatient wet nails;
keys loose from use; this piano
has watched us grow up,
kept our secrets,
laughed at our
jokes, shares
our family
I laugh at those who try to explain how grand a new piano is.

Sitting at the rickety short bench, I feel it creak
a warm greeting beneath me, as if
as if welcoming me home.
I have been away
too long from
a loved
I trail my fingers over the sleeping keys,
feeling their slickness, their sweat
from the excitement, the
want, the need to be
played. They jump
and beg, and I
As I begin the melody, the out of tune notes strike
sharply into the still air. To anyone else, the
sound would pierce their ears like a pin
striking a too full balloon, but to me
the notes sing sweetly, as if
coming straight from the
mouth of an angel.
Finally, I am at
peace, I have
where I
Beauty is only for those who can see past imperfections.


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