By Leah Silverman

October 10, 2016


When Rachmaninoff swallows my mother, I no longer know the woman who gleefully embellishes with staccato flourishes nursery rhymes and schoolyard chants and ditties of her own that make us run run run through the living room dining room kitchen. Instead there’s a pianist sitting on the bench of my mother’s battered black baby grand, sinking into storms of chords and crescendos that swell from a single tear, fighting futilely to master a brilliance she insists she’ll never attain. Her fingers skim the ivory and black, hopping through his time and hers, pouncing on tempests, tangling with trauma that defines her, reduces her, expands her to free storms from the strings and her heart from sedation.

Photo "The Pianist" provided by Bryan Ong via Flickr's Creative Commons licence.

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