By Debra Nystrom
Maddening shadow across your line of vision—
what might be there, then isn't, making it
hard to be on the lookout, concentrate, even
hear—well, enough of the story I've
given you, at least—you've had your fill, never
asked for this, though you were the one
to put a hand out, catch hold, not about to let me
vanish the way of the two you lost already
to grief's lure. I'm here; close your eyes,
listen to our daughter practicing, going over and over
the Bach, getting the mordents right, to make the lovely
Invention definite. What does mordent mean,
her piano teacher asked—I was waiting in the kitchen
and overheard—I don't know, something about dying?
No; morire means to die, mordere means to take
a bite out of something—good mistake, she said.
Not to die, to take a bite—what you asked
of me—and then pleasure
in the taking. Close your eyes now,
listen. No one is leaving.