This poem is taken from Stand 218, 16(2) May - June 2018.

Neil Reeder Two Poems
Piano solo

And now we talk of ‘the inner life’,
And I ask myself, where is it?

                                       – Louis Simpson

That very first note, a C sharp, resounding
over moans from inmates in their bunk-beds,
cast an aura in the keen of Siberian wind.

Delicately, then, he tested scales on the keyboard,
up and down, tightening pitch, raising volume by
a notch, another notch, a bolder notch, readying

for the bars of Beethoven’s Moonlight …
All the guards saw of the ‘odd one’ that evening 
when occasionally peering through grimy glass,

was a man moving fingers along a piece of wood –
stub surface roughly smoothed, etched in rectangles
alternating untouched and cross-hatched.
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