Piano Duo

by Jean Kreiling

 for S

We took no vows, but we negotiate
like wife and husband:  “I’ll move over, dear,
if you’ll make room for my low A right here.”
“Of course, but after that, could you please wait
for my rubato?”  “Sure, but don’t be late
with that B-flat.”  “It’s nice to have you near,
but how can I make my staccato clear
if you keep pedaling in measure eight?”

We cover up each other’s minor slips
and share the highs and lows of married measures,
our four hands fallible, but trained and true.
With thumbs and thoughts as close as lovers’ lips,
for better and for worse we practice pleasures
unknown to those who’ve merely said, “I do.”

Jean L. Kreiling is a Professor of Music at Bridgewater State College in Bridgewater, Massachusetts; she previously taught English at Western Carolina University in North Carolina. Her poetry has appeared in several print and on-line journals, and she has given interdisciplinary presentations on music and poetry at academic conferences in Boston, Honolulu, Toronto, and London.

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Pat Jones
Published 20 May 2010