We can tell
As soon as we walk in.
In breathless reverence
We follow you, like visitors
Here to greet a sleeping newborn.
The old upright,
Mourned but unmissed,
Is gone. Now all we see
Is this half-dozen cubic yards
Of softly-gleaming, midnight-lacquered magic
Parked here like a limousine.
But no mere car
Could make my eyes pop
And mouth drop open
Like this boudoir grand
Black as a conductor’s tail-coat
Shiny as a pair of patent shoes.
Half a lifetime’s working, saving,
Dreaming and imagining,
Irresistible to eyes and hands.
Your joy rings out in every note
Of my little one’s halting scales
And almost-there arpeggios,
The roll of sound voluptuous
As the piano’s planes and curves:
To think it might have been condemned
To drawing-room adornment,
A fancy piece of furniture
Touched only to be dusted.
Inspired by the magnificent new (to her) instrument our daughter’s piano teacher surprised us with when we arrived at her house on Friday. Most folks, having saved up for 25 years, would blow the money on a car or a holiday. So God bless Catherine for choosing a second-hand grand piano – and, what’s more, using it for teaching, not just her own amusement. I’d never encountered a ‘boudoir grand’ before: apparently it’s the next size up from a ‘baby’. And although it’s quite petite compared to a full-size concert grand, it’s still an imposing instrument, and makes even my 10-year-old’s Grade 3 pieces sound like a Rachmaninov recital. Wonderful.