The Pianist

It’s everywhere,

madness is,

if you look close enough.

So many folks

split in two,

like wood on the block.

So many souls

sent sideways and

out of shape

by the axe men,

driving a wedge.

This burnt out salary-man,

who comes here

every Friday,

to stake out the same spot

in the café,

compulsive, neurotic,

plastic cup of iced tea,

staring blankly

at the banality of others;

pay him no attention and he’s

just like the rest.

But look closely.

He’s tapping his fingers,

intently

over an invisible key board.

The others don’t know it

but he plays for them

silent mazurkas

on the over-polished table,

hollowed where his

melodies have

burned deep troughs,

full of panic;

a passionate,

desperate, silent concert

for a mute audience.

In his eyes,

that slump over

the cold distances

of inhuman afternoons,

you know he’s been

hewn apart

by the axe men.

But those hands,

and their fiery gavottes

that could have been,

go on dancing

over the void

of so many lives,

trying to mend

what’s been torn apart.

Copyright Ricky Barrow 2014

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