Learning to Play

guzheng

The pale birds of her hands flutter
over the strings of the guzheng,
sound of the lotus, a bamboo forest,

a peaceful boat on water. Her fingers,
born for porcelain teapots, calligraphy,
silk, are plucking out High Mountain

Flowing Water, are conductors of dark
storms, confident upon the bridge, as in
Three Variations of Plum Blossom, or

mellowed with reflection, as in my favorite,
Song of Fishermen on a Homebound Boat
During Sunset, before the happy home port

of its coda. She places my awkward palms
upon the rosewood, guiding the unsure
attempt;  me, attuned to electric guitars,

heavy drums, afraid of something
so delicate. I’ve no talent here. Her laughter
lifts me though, like the chiming of bells.

© Lauren Tivey, 2016.

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