Passing the Torch
by Kayleen Asbo
Once, in his prime,
He strode across the stage to the Steinway and bowed
Sat at the cool keyboard
And poured molten passion upon its shiny surface.
Her 13 year old heart melted
All the way back in row Y.
The flame of that concerto burned in her breast,
Kindling a fire
That lit the way through the underworld of adolescence.
It was during that terrible year
That she learned what it is to become Orpheus
To pour love and longing, loss and grief
Into the strings of the piano
How if she opens up her bleeding heart with her small fingers
And impassioned words
She might even cause Sisyphus to stop and weep
As she pleads on behalf of the dead.
Now it is thirty five years later.
The seeds of that dark year have ripened,
Flowered into bouquets of stories and songs.
She bestows garlands fragrant with beauty
Upon the aged ones gathered in hopeful expectation at the senior center
to listen to the life of Beethoven
His steps falter and he grasps another’s arm for support as he crosses to the speakers’ podium.
He teeters, almost falls
Barely able to see through the tears with his fading eyesight
before he gives her a kiss on each cheek,
Benediction for passing the torch of inspiration
Back to him
after all these years.