Another Reason I’m Not A Concert Pianist

You sweated for years,
a serf on a manor,
tilled fields with oxen
and a wooden plow.

Marriage and children,
summer and snow,
tithe and obeisance,
shovel and dirt.

The plague swept through
and you survived.
It came again,
you didn’t.

Carried from you to me,
one single thread:
the gene that makes my index fingers
bend away from each other

at the knuckle.


A web page with interesting facts about: genetics and family tree


20 thoughts on “Another Reason I’m Not A Concert Pianist

  1. Genetics. Why I can curl my tongue AND make it go completely vertical. I missed the ear-wiggling gene, but I did get my grandma’s manic depression, so I guess that’s something.

    I didn’t see where this was going, and then at the end, it went right back to the title. Inspired writing! Peace, Amy

  2. this one brought a shivering goose-bump sensation through me. I love this poetry. You evoke emotion and your flow is steady, authentic sounding, and completely engaging. really great work. Two of my family members have a similar finger bend gene. It is so much about the knuckle when it comes to piano or plow.

  3. At first, I thought you were speaking in metaphors, and then I realized that you weren’t. Nice finish with the genetics piece. I just finished PALEOFANTASY, which is chockfull of genetics. A very enjoyable poem….

  4. I haven’t read you in a while. This is precisely the kind of poem you write that I enjoy, clever isn’t the right word, it’s deeper than clever, it’s like a lock that is picked as we read, then opened to our dismay or delight. So very well done.

  5. Interesting to ponder the lives of those who made our own possible, and the little things they pass on to us. I remember my grandfather telling me about his grandfather. My grandfather liked to relax in a chair with the backs of his fingers down on the arm of the chair and folded under his palm. I do that too. Now in my aged years, on some days when my mood is mostly melancholy and I find myself alone without a thought on my mind, just for a second I get a whiff of his pipe tobacco. I think we all come here to share our peotry and to give critique, which is something we poets need, and it’s why I enjoy writing here. Sometimes the best crittique is simply someone telling the artist what his work makes him feel. It’s not always about the clean brush stroke or use of colors in a paiting that makes it special to someone. More than often it’s just how it makes the viewer feel. Your poem made me breifly remember a man that I love deeply. Thank you.

  6. I enjoyed your poem and then went to
    “A web page with interesting facts about: genetics and family tree”
    which I found very interesting.
    It got me thinking about how many generations will have parts of my particular DNA ….
    in a small family…two children, girl and boy and 4 female grandchildren. Hmmm.
    Guess I have the patience to wait and see for the next generation since The oldest
    grands are 20 and the youngest 15…
    Thank you

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