We went to a performance at the Armory,
a woman telling the story of her mother,
who had been a young pianist in Vienna
during the Second World War.
After the horrors of Kristalnacht,
her family sent her via the Kindertransport
to live in a foster home in England.
She never saw her parents again,
but aside from that her life was a series
of lucky breaks which didn’t make
for the most compelling story.
The daughter broke up the narrative
with classical pieces she played
competently, though without passion
on a grand piano while historical footage
was projected inside picture frames
on the wall behind her. It was pretty schmaltzy
and oddly devoid of tension despite its setting.
I kept sneaking glances at you.
I’d never seen you in that dress before
splashed like ink across your body.
You placed your hand on my knee, fingers dancing
along with the music up and down my leg,
I couldn’t wait to walk you home –it was
a beautiful night, and your apartment
was around the corner- I couldn’t wait to hear
you shatter the windows with your cries
and tear the sheets
Though when the final note of Grieg’s Symphony faded away
I remembered that I was sitting there alone
and I closed my eyes
and squeezed your hand
in that single silent momentbefore the applause came crashing down