First Piano Lesson.... [teen Infatuation; Piano Lesson; Long; Serious] - Poem by Bri Edwards
Mom sent me to learn piano; I preferred guitar.
Why, if I wanted to travel ….., with a piano I couldn’t go far!
Besides a piano has so many keys AND petals too.
Why, compared to that, the strings of a guitar ….are but few.
But I was only 13, and though I’d begun to shave,
I was under my parents’ thumbs and had to behave.
They wouldn’t share their cigarettes, or let me try wine,
OR take on a date the girl, Lora, for whom I did pine.
So I took my bike downtown to the music store,
walked in where a sign said “lessons” on the door,
sat in one of two chairs placed against a wall,
AND wished, instead, I was with friends playing ball.
Would the teacher be strict, old, and grumpy as well?
Would he, or maybe she, be like a devil from Hell?
As I waited, watching the clock, which said ten to three,
I thought of Lora, who wore her skirts FAR above her knee.
At 2: 55 I was anxious; I stared at the door.
Then in walked an “angel”, who I’d never seen before.
I thought she was a college kid, perhaps twenty years old.
I said “I’m waiting for the teacher. I hope he’s not …….REALLY old.'
She laughed a soft laugh and tossed her hair back.
Her smile was radiant. She had on a backpack.
She took off the backpack and closed the damn door!
Then she asked: “Have you ever even sat at a piano before? ”
“Are YOU my teacher? ” I then asked, and my voice did crack.
She said: “Yup. So please answer MY question. YOU are Zack? ”
I swallowed and replied: “I think you’ve asked two now.
Two questions, I mean. NO and YES”. (And I thought “Holy Cow! ”)
“I’m your teacher for sure and I’m pleased to meet YOU.
I hope you’ll like your first lesson. My name is Sue.
Let’s start with more questions. I’ll ask a few, to start.”
She then closed the door. I could feel rapid beats in my heart.
“Do you want to learn to play the piano, Zack? ”
My first impulse was to blurt out: “No”, but I couldn’t do THAT,
so I said: “I like Ray Charles and Elton John. I wish I COULD play, but ….
….I’m a slow learner. It might take me all day …..
just to learn how to get started, but I’m willing to try.”
I swear she gave me a wink ….., with one beautiful eye!
“Can you read music? It would help if you could.”
To which I said: “I’m learning that now, but I’m no good.”
“Do you have access to a piano for practice each week? ”
I said: “My mom might rent one.” [My answers were on a “loser’s streak”.]
“OK, Zack. I have a book you can borrow from me.
It has a fold out paper keyboard. It’ll help. You’ll see.
You may also buy the book and others from this store.
What’s very important is that you don’t think learning’s a chore.
Now, do you have any questions for me you’d like to ask? ”
“How old were you when you had YOUR first lesson” I said.
“I was seven, and before it began, I was filled with dread,
I didn’t know anything, AND thought “piano” was “over my head”.
BUT in a few weeks time I was psyched and anxious, instead …..,
to learn as much as I could and as fast as I could.
My playing has brought me much joy, as Mom said it would.”
Next I asked ‘Sue’: “How old are you now? ” (It’s TRUE!)
She replied: “I’m twenty-three years old …., and I’m married too.”
I think I blushed and, feeling funny, glanced at my feet.
My teacher said: “Step to the piano, young man. Take a seat.”
I did as she ordered, feeling a bit more at ease.
She then proceeded to introduce (to me) ‘the keys’.
She explained briefly about black keys and white keys,
about my posture and about where ….to point my knees.
She showed me the strings inside, and pedals near floor.
She said “Most of this is in your book ……., and a LOT more.”
Mostly she stood behind me, off to one side.
Once she sat next to me, like we were taking a ride.
She brushed her body (barely) against mine. [for me a thrill]
She had me try each key, twice, but mostly I sat still.
The hour went by so fast! She said: “See you next week.”
I rode my bike slowly home ……., dreaming that she’d kissed my cheek!
It was summer, school was out, I thought I was in love.
In my bedroom I sniffed the piano book, and under my pillow did shove …..
(August 21 & 22, 2015)
Poet's Notes about The Poem
i can play Happy Birthday on the piano; that's it. i learned a few years ago. some other things in this poem are somewhat like me also. but it is not about me. it is meant to be entertaining. i hope it is. bri :)
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