sketchbook stories: the tiny piano
songs in the key of life
The tiny piano sits silently in the farmhouse, yellowed keys beckoning. Its journey began a century ago in my great-uncle’s one-room Boston apartment.
After he died, it moved to my mother’s childhood home. She learned on this 66-key upright, entire octaves eliminated for smaller spaces. It accompanied her across two coasts, five states, three husbands and one wayward daughter.
She played hymns; I struggled with Mozart.
Once, it appeared on the Mothers’ Club float. In top hat and tux, she played for hours as the Memorial Day parade looped around the island.
The Mother’s Club disbanded; my mother passed. And still, the piano waits.
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I feel like a piano would make a great vehicle for telling a true or fictional multi-generational drama. These instruments almost become family members. I've seen a few fights over who gets to inherit a piano in my life.
Thanks for another great story. You always inspire me to write more and to write better.
Your other was both a gifted pianist and artist. I'm sure she would be proud of your writing skills.
My big sister has a piano though it mainly sits in her living room like a bulky piece of furniture. I remember one day I was striking the piano keys at random (I can't play, unfortunately) then I put on a record by Debussy. My sister and brother-in-law came rushing into the living room, thinking I had suddenly turned into a concert player.