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The following poem was sent to me this morning by Elaine Broad Ginsberg (Lainee), conductor of the Hampshire College Chorus.


I've always worried about you-the man or woman

at the piano bench,

night after night receiving only such applause

as the singer allows: a warm hand please,

for my accompanist. At concerts,

as I watch your fingers on the keys,

and how swiftly, how excellently

you turn sheet music pages,

track the singer's notes, cover the singer's flaws,

I worry about whole lifetimes,

most lifetimes

lived in the shadows of reflected fame;

but then the singer's voice dies

and there are just your last piano notes,

not resentful at all,

carrying us to the end, into those heartfelt cheers

that spring up in little patches from a thrilled audience

like sudden wildflowers bobbing in a rain

of steady clapping. And I'm on my feet, also,

clapping and cheering for the singer, yes,

but, I think, partially likewise for you

half-turned toward us, balanced on your black bench,

modest, utterly well-rehearsed,

still playing the part you've made yours.

Dick Allen

Originally published in North Dakota Quarterly, 
Vol. 74, No. 3, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Allen! Thanks, Lainee!

★ ☆.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.• ヅ★

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