THE PIANO TUNER SPITS IN HIS HANDS
Lady Silence has been told.
She seeks another perch,
ruffles her feathers, turns her back.
He spits in his hands.
An old flame is introduced
so love can turn up the dial.
Rippling below the skin is a river
of rhyme and counter-rhyme.
A river of no return.
A thimble of the good stuff
is poured into her quiet dinner.
She turns, lifts her yellow rear.
The piano turner sighs.
Sorrow is the magic key.
It is the high note of beauty.
He opens, closes her cage.
He remembers the raven
who moans in the night.
He reads to her.
He places a bowl of jonquils
half-way home to darkness.
The piano tuner reflects.
He will not entertain the reaper.
He will let Lady Silence go.
The catch is undone.
A window is opened to the stars.
The whip-poor-will is singing.
The owl is hunting in the woods.
The wary sparrow seeks another tree.
The piano tuner listens.
Author's Commentary: The poem explores the possibilities for creative inspiration.
Daniel Daly’s work has appeared in Poetry, The North Dakota Quarterly, William and Mary Review, America, Poetry East, Birmingham Poetry, Westview, and elsewhere. His last collection was awarded the Tennessee Chapbook Prize.