on a promising Sunday in the spring when the
hint of lilac leaked through the windows and
the smell of old people leaked out, my aunts and uncles
gathered to hear me spin a few tunes on the spinet

like many other flashes, I flared out early and
other kids, mostly studious types with Steinways,
passed me by while I got stuck on Fuer Elise forever
like a goddamned ice cream truck

my repertoire consisted of silly little songs with
a few staccatos and grace notes and a couple of
fortissimos not nearly bold enough to muffle
the jubilant sounds of the ballgame at the
schoolyard down the street

a girl with a pony tail and short shorts
came to watch me play and would have
waited around for me to take her for a
chocolate soda after the game instead
of listening to me play an etude on the cracks

so I’ll trade you one spinet for a pair of spiked shoes
and practicing scales for roaming free in center field
and a sixty minute lesson for the split second that
the ball nestles, soft and sure, in my hands