for years I’ve prayed
God would grant me
an audience, see me
at the nursing home piano
(my good-deed gambit)
provide some big break

I perform while the sick
are wheeled in to listen
heads bowed before
mashed food, minds
consigned to memory
whitened and wearied

and then there is David
with Down Syndrome
who smiles and exhales
as tears descend
with melody, finding
joy by way of sorrow

“yes,” he likes to whisper
with a knowing nod
as the final chords die:
he’s found the answer
to the unspoken question
which lingers in my hands


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