Pianissimo [poem] by Marcia LeBeau

I used to practice violin
in my parents’ bedroom. In between
arpeggios, I’d snoop around
the room. Reading my mother’s diary
was a waste of time: Did laundry,
went grocery
shopping, swam.

My father’s watch box cradled
nude Polaroids of Mom curled up
on the wine-red rug under
my feet. Another she lay facedown
on their white bedspread, goose
pimples dimpling her rear.

The day I moved a sock
and came upon two matching
hospital bracelets, no bigger around
than my drugstore ring, I felt
as empty as the silence before
I lifted my bow and drew.


Image of 1930s Switchboard Operator

Image by Peter Shanks

Marcia LeBeau‘s work has appeared in Rattle, Moon City Review, SLANT, and elsewhere. Her poems have appeared in Oprah’s O Magazine and have been read on the radio. She holds an MFA in poetry from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Visit www.marcialebeau.com.