Derek N. Otsuji


How She Loves Music

Such girlish ambitions. My grandmother,
who loves music like a lost childhood,
scales, with aid of a school boy’s mnemonic,
the lattice of a treble clef, and from its
looping vine plucks ripe quarter notes,
like grapes grown bluesy with the songs
of autumn rain. As a girl, she lived free
of money, when music lessons were
reserved for girls from moneyed families. Now,
pure melody of the unaccompanied right
hand rings out the old, nursed remorses,
cramped penuries since money is at last
enough for an ebony upright (second hand),
real ivory keys stained the color of tea.



Derek N. Otsuji lives and writes on the southern shore of Oahu. His poems have appeared in Greensboro Review, Rattle, Poet Lore, Sycamore Review, and The Threepenny Review.  

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