The Piano's Secret
I sit down on the empty bench And smile at the big heavy thing in front of me. People try to tell me that inside A hammer hits a string And makes a noise. But I know the real secret And it isn't a hammer or a string The only thing is that huge plain box Is a flock of nightingales. They never get hungry They never go to sleep, They're always on the lookout, They never even cheep. I look down further. And eighty-eight eyes stare up at me. But when I touch one It winks at me I touch two and three and four. And soon they are all winking and blinking and smiling at me. And the nightingales sing. THey sing and sing Beautiful songs Like Beethoven's sonatinas. Or "Ecossaise" Or "For Elise," Mozart's Menuett in G. Robert Schumann's "Merry Farmer, Or Wild Horseman, Or Soldier's March. Alexandre Tansman's Prelude Or Romance. And graceful melodies fill the room. When my father comes home, he asks, "Did you practice piano?" "Yes." "How much?" "All of it." "Could you play 'For Elise' for me?" I do. And then the nightingales are here. Not hungry. Not tired. But always ready to sing.