There are so many pianos still left
In the fields of the village
Where you insist that we continue
To live, so many pianos
Though only a few have remained faithful
To the serious chords of the wind.
For example, the camel-colored Steinway
Beneath the arbor of lavender wisteria
& drooping bougainvillea has barely
A dozen keys left working, their thin felt
Hammers long grown soggy as dawn mist,
Soft as the pillowing fog.
Still, you say, who cares? as you turn from me,
Stepping calmly onto the narrow stone terrace
Overlooking these perpetual fields—
Just as every young woman in this
Village stands each morning, every one of them,
& exactly at this moment of the day, satisfied by
The first ripple of light as it sketches
The body’s languid harmony. If I am lucky, I know
I will live forever in this ancient, lost village
Of pianos & a late pagan petulance.
– from The Red Leaves of Night