A Juilliard Pianist

PHILIP DACEY

She sits as if before the stillest lake,
hands in her lap, back straight, eyes closed, alone
on stage and thinking hard of what’s at stake
before she casts the first note like a stone.

The glassy silence is perfection she
must soon disturb and then improve upon
or it were better she not touch the key
at all that sets waves rolling one by one.

She could be at prayer, asking forgiveness
from the air that anyone should dare presume
to shatter what is so complete as this
that fills the expectant, barely-breathing room.

It’s moving, how she takes her time to move.
Such a lack of motion is a form of love.


Philip Dacey the winner of three Pushcart Prizes for his poetry, is the author of eleven books, most recently Mosquito Operas: New and Selected Short Poems and Vertebrae Rosaries: 50 Sonnets. His twelfth book, Gimme Five, won the 2012 Blue Light Press Book Award and will appear in 2013.

First published in Measure, Volume 8, Issue 1 (2013)

Finalist for the 2012 Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award.