by Anita Howard

In the early days
before forced marching took over,
they brought me to see
the place where I would go to school.

I stood on a polished, wooden floor
and was shown the piano,
the mechanism of music without choice.

A white-headed woman,
her kind smile not to be our fate,
turned upon a padded stool
and shimmered the heavy keys
to emit a few juddering notes.

“It sounds like a lioness,” I said,
my thoughts back to the zoo,
and the laughter nearly knocked me down.
No harm to find my roar
before the place revealed its demons.

©Anita Howard

PHOTO: Two lionesses (Chobe National Park, Botswana, 2017). Photo by Geran de Klerk on Unsplash. 

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The poem was inspired by an early memory of childhood.

Anita Howard image

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anita Howard is a writer, storyteller, and actor living in Passage West, County Cork, Ireland. Her work has appeared in HeadStuff, Poetica Review, Bluepepper, JA Books Magazine, Written Tales, and the Don’t Get Caught! anthology by Write In 4 Charity, Leicester, as well as the Zooanthology by Sweetycat Press and the Querencia Fall 22 Anthology. She is on Twitter as @AnitaHowardSto1.