I feel the need

To place my fingers

On the ivory keys

Of my piano.

I feel the need

To hear myself

Making music

On my piano.

I feel the need

To stretch my fingers out

To play Scott Joplin rags

Until I can no more.

Instead I am here

Typing silly poetry

On my computer

Because my mother

Feels sick and

Is sleeping.

It doesn’t matter

That I’ve cracked my knuckles

Until they will crack no more

It doesn’t matter

That it feels like a withdrawal

Of an addictive drug.

The fifteen minutes

That I have free all week

Cost an hour of sleep

This morning

Spent studying for a test

That I actually passed

And now they’re gone

Because my mother sleeps

While I sit in agony

Of fingers that must play.


If the need is still there

It will mean

Another skipped lunch

To hide in the band room

And practice

Scott Joplin rags

Until my fingers can

No longer find

The key they’re

Supposed to play.