Under the Steinway
by Linda Kraus

I lived in my grandmother’s house,
a museum of Victorian excess.
Snakes and gargoyles lurked
in the baroque carvings,
a mausoleum of hidden terrors,
frightening to a child.
Objets d’art trapped
under glass domes,
condemned to eternal captivity.
Silk roses and peonies frozen
at the peak of their perfection
in funereal arrangements.
Crocheted doilies guarded
chair arms and tabletops,
discouraging me
from feeling welcome.

But my grandmother’s
concert grand beckoned to me.
There, there was just enough
room under its belly
to hide with my books and dreams —
a space which was inviolate.
Today, the house holds
no terrors, but I yearn
for that tiny crawl-space,
where once I knew I was safe.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: ThIS poem speaks to the one place where I was safe as a child. Yes, I long for it!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Linda Kraus has taught English and Film Studies at the college and university levels. She has written film criticism, short fictionM and poetry since adolescence and has published both poetry and film criticism.