You matured young. Spent too much time
in a basement room with sombre pulled shades,
where your parents hid the piano like some
old persistent wound. The world was fascinating
even as it ignored you, dusty sunlight across
your fingers in stroking tones. Yellow sachets
on the windowsill in baskets, the electric orange
tabby, yawning cavernous and often.
You knew the truth, sometimes, when it slipped
out and lay like a fish on the top of the keys.
Because it was always already three o’clock
in the afternoon, you were supposed to have been
doing something else with your day. Not playing
a sonata for the people on the street,
if only they could hear it. You knew it wasn’t
enough, it was never going to be enough.
The look about you of someone who cares
too much, hunched into the bars and notations
that streaked the pages. Realizing even then
what you were doing, quietly saluting
the years as they passed.
Heather Davidson has a BA in Creative Writing from Concordia University, where she won the 2011 Irving Layton Award for Fiction. Her poetry has been accepted by The Antigonish Review, Descant, and carte blanche. A short story appears this winter in The New Quarterly.