“Centerpiece” by Genevieve Shifke

Gone were the days
of little girl fingers
pressing against yours,
her toes stretching for your
pedals to no avail.
Her dirt crusted nails mirrored
your minor keys before
the sun stripped them down
to faded whispers of
their former black,
their new hue
complementing the yellowed
discoloration of your once
dazzling whites.
Half are missing, plucked out
by rabbits that nibbled the ends
of your drooping strings,
washed away by the same rain
that rusted your hinges
In a move of passion, the girl’s mother
sliced your vocal chords,
whose tones reverberated through
the farmhouse until
every room echoed with the same
song she practiced
day after day. You were once
grand, piano, the shining
centerpiece of blank
walls and a slate roof. But now
here you stand among the weeds.
Ivy winds up your legs
and critters nest in your hollow body,
where a mother rabbit just left
her young to find food for
when they wake.
You were left to die and decay,
an unwanted reminder of the songs that
no longer swept the halls of
the farmhouse from the fingers
of the long-gone little girl.
Her parents still jump
at every knock on the door,
every scream of the
telephone. Just like the girl,
you’ve been robbed
of the right to a proper grave,
but here you stand, grand(mother)
piano, home to little girls and boys
that walk on all four legs,
singing your silent


One thought on ““Centerpiece” by Genevieve Shifke

  1. Pingback: “Centerpiece” published by Contraposition Magazine | Words

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