A Brief Sonata For Beginners

I. LESSON

Understand this, you will
need the patience of a poor
man, and the drive of a mad
one.

II. INTERMISSION

We have been practicing scales and loose rhythms
and legato redemptions,

as if tomorrow were Sunday. Even still, rehearsed tunes
ripple deadbeat heads,

dressed accents foreign, but
for a bashed downbeat,

we’ll lounge,
hidden,
beneath a defeated encore.

III. IMPROMPTU

& on days when sisters ran away
together and brothers learned to stand
apart, my mother still fed me
with cold cut sandwiches, chased down
by heated words, & my books

have taught me
the dissonance of sincerity
and not much more.

I have been told
when Eve tasted knowledge,
searching for intimacies known
only between Greek gods,
she found a weeping, naked
minor chord, stripped of roots.
If patrons furrow a brow, I play yet

uninterrupted, martyrs,
I have been told, die well.

IV. FINALE

When you are sure
the song has finished
bow with practiced grace.

Kiss your instrument first,
your Father second.
Find a languid sidewalk home,
content knowing you have made a clean ending.

Alexa Suarez, Age 15, Grade 11, Stuyvesant High School, Gold Key

This entry was written by NYC Scholastic Awards and published on December 4, 2013 at 2:00 pm. It’s filed under Poetry, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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