On Practicing

Wassily Kandinsky apricotgroup.eu

Wassily Kandinsky
apricotgroup.eu

I thought
it was just the piano
which bothered me as a child
The duty of the daily practice hour
The shame I felt at lesson`time
when failing to do it
Mama’s wrath

My teacher
old as the Emperor
couldn’t speak a word of English
She simply shook her wizened head
Later the two would have words
There was no escape
but seppuku

My pocket knife
only had two blades
neither long enough for the task
What I really needed was a Sword
but swords were hard to come by
in post war Setagaya
A sharp Sword

Besides that
I would have to clean
the room after I was disemboweled
No excuse for leaving a messy carpet
in my mother’s thick Book of Rules
I decided to run away
when I was 9

But even that
required more practice
than I was able to muster as a child
My rucksack like my pocket knife got
me only as far as the nearest station
where I started practicing
repentance

“The child is looking in the mirror.
His head falls to one side, his shoulders slump.
He is practicing sadness.” ~ Robert Hass

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About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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7 Responses to On Practicing

  1. kiwiskan says:

    my son didn’t have to practice piano, but he still packed his kindy bag and ran away to the neighbors…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. cheryl622014 says:

    Oh yes…! And I remember kicking that piano hard – remembering too late that I had open toe sandals on…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. …as Carnegie Hall beckons

    Liked by 1 person

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