It has affected her sleep.

And often mine.

Day and night I hear


her tinkle and hum,

caught on the bits

her fingers cannot figure.

She’s been back


on the keys for months.

I wake to her tossing,

humming and huffing


as she works the pieces.

Over and again.

We cannot make love

when we wake up.


Fractured, frustrated.

We go through days

exhausted. I’m afraid


to bed down.

It’s a nightmare:

in the evenings as

I chop or bake


she’s practicing the change.

And sometimes I hum.

In a slow, playful way, hum


pushing her fingers on

so she may play correct

and all the way through.


First published in published in New Leaf 23, 2007.