Thanking My Mother for Piano Lessons

Original Text: 
Wakoski, Diane. Emerald Ice: Selected Poems, 1962-1987. Santa Rosa, CA: Black Sparrow Press, 1988: 143-147.
1The relief of putting your fingers on the keyboard,
2as if you were walking on the beach
3and found a diamond
4as big as a shoe;
5as if
6you had just built a wooden table
7and the smell of sawdust was in the air,
8your hands dry and woody;
9as if
10you had eluded
11the man in the dark hat who had been following you
12all week;
13the relief
14of putting your fingers on the keyboard,
15playing the chords of
16Beethoven,
17Bach,
18Chopin
19in an afternoon when I had no one to talk to,
20when the magazine advertisement forms of soft sweaters
21and clean shining Republican middle-class hair
22walked into carpeted houses
23and left me alone
24with bare floors and a few books
25I want to thank my mother
26for working every day
27in a drab office
28in garages and water companies
29cutting the cream out of her coffee at 40
The rest of the poem cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Publication Start Year: 
1970
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire, assisted by Ana Berdinskikh
RPO Edition: 
2009
Form: