From the other side of the table,
a tight-jawed father ordered his
daughter to "save herself."

Her head bobbed in a quick
submission and she hardly
thought to ask, "what for?"

Now she crouches over her childhood
piano, hands just grazing the keys
while she squints through the window

above her head and wonders.
Her ears strain for the sounds
she has been saved from—

the rhythm of rain, winter winds,
the patter of footsteps flying into the
uncharted evening—

beneath the scales that mumble
under her fingertips, patterns
echoing through the hollow hall.