The Letter

Details Given: Girl, red hair, green eyes, black grand piano, yellow rose petals, e minor 13th

What I created from those in an hour:
The auditorium had emptied, leaving the grand piano looking like a child’s toy from the balcony view. The little boy stood against the railing, pudgy hands folded together, chin resting there. Brown doe eyes gazed down, blinking slowly every so often. On his tip toes, he rocked back and forth on each foot.

The wooden boards held a muddled reflection of a young woman. Her body was slender, an emerald A-line dress, a black sash wrapped around her waist, creating an hour glass figure. She reached the center of the stage, paused and looked down at her hands, long fingers that made her sigh, she tilted her head sideways for a moment.

Slowly her eyes closed and she took in a slow deep breath, her collar bone rising, rib cage expanding as her lungs fill up with air. Grass green eyes flickered up to the balcony, she noticed the young boy, but returned back to her thoughts; eyes trailing back down, across the rows and rows of seats, the color of red wine and structured in brass, glinting dully in the light.

Doe-eyed little boy lifted his head when the slender phantom of a woman continued across the stage, the eye contact caused his breath to flood his lungs quickly, and he swallowed it down. One hand resting on the railing, he began to suck his thumb and walked, at a slow pace almost matching the woman’s.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, those delicate fingers reached the ebony body of the piano, the contact becgan to cause a tug at the corner of her mouth. The black beauty was half way open, the hammers and dampers, resting ever so perfectly against strings pulled taut. Sprinkled on the keys were petals; petals of a rich yellow satin, they had also found their way onto the bench and floor surrounding the legs. She pushed herself a clean place to sit, resting her right hand gently on the snow white keys. Sliding out of her heels, she gently swept them aside, then pressed down her toes agaisnt the cold metal of the sustain pedal, then pressed down a e minor 13th chord, allowing the piano to sing. Almost as if following the sound as it echoed through the auditorium, she looked up to the empty space where the child had been. The prelude to a smile melted and she looked to the music in front of her.

A letter lay there.

But she wasn’t ready to open it; she had to, but she needed a few more moments, just a moment more.

Letting her eyes close, she held back tears, she could feel them burning at her eye lids. Chin tipping down, loose crimson locks tumbled down her shoulders, hovering over and contrasting the emerald of her dress. As she tried to inhale, the air caught in her throat, the catch audible outside of her body.

Wrapping her hair around a finger, she closed her eyes, comforted in the familiar action. Extending her left hand, she gently gripped the corner of the envelope. Sliding her thumb beneath the cream colored paper, listening as the seal broke, she pulled out the hand written letter from its resting place, the outer shell falling to the floor.

Forcing her eyes open, she placed her hair behind her ear and, slowly as molasses,  unfolded the letter.
Fluttering her eyes, she savored the words written on the page.

A small hand settled softly onto her wrist, a gasp escpaed from her, she looked at the boy, head turning slowly. His doe eyes looking at her, unaware of her inner toil, thumb still in his mouth.

With tears now gently streaming, dripping onto petals that had fallen into her lap from the keys, she dropped the letter.
She placed a hand on his cheek, stroking gently with her thumb. Watery meadow mosaic eyes gazed at the child. Her other hand running through his shaggy brown curls, pulling his forehead towards her, and rosey lips pressed against his skin.

Arms wrapping around him, she pulled him into an embrace of agape, now allowing herself to cry.


Under a Lamp Lit Snowglobe

The night air was crisp, you could taste the frigid quality the air held. Sunset and twilight had come and gone; the scene itself was rather comforting, at least it could be described as such from the inside of a warm home. Snow spread across the pavement, untouched by cares, contained a single trail of foot prints, even and deliberate, on the right side. Tall and loaming evergreen trees stretched towards the sky, each of their branches holding its share of snow. When the eyes traveled further up the road, a lone street lamp tried to join the tops of the evergreen trees by the sky, though it could not measure up to those great heights, it still had a very important part to play. The orange light cast downward, and undefined edges, in a triangular glow.

Withing that glow, the trail stops and ends in a man, dressed in a fitted black suit, which was beginning to collect the white crystals, but he didn’t seem to mind, his attention was elsewhere. He stood tall as well, but was not as tall as the street light, who was not as tall as the evergreens. His efforts were not focused on being taller, reaching towards the sky, his mind more level, but abstract and distant, not one direction. Shiny black shoes had collected little piles of snow on the toe and around the lip that circled each shoe. The pants were pressed neatly, cuffs untouched by the snow, but like the jacket, they had begun to collect the flakes of the current gentle snow drift. A deep brilliant blue tie caught the light in such a way that it seemed to illuminate, the background seeming to fade except for the one oblong shape. His white dress shirt peaked through from under the black scarf that nestled itself around his neck, most was hidden.

Puffs of moisture exited the part of his lips with each exhale, eyes glinting as they gazed down the road, almost longingly. A nineteen twenties letter-boy hat fit snuggly onto his head, his dark curls poking out the sides, just above his ears.

He seemed to be waiting for something, or… for someone.

Maybe he knows what he’s looking for, what he’s waiting for, but maybe, just maybe, he didn’t know and he was taking a chance.


The snow seemed to swirl all ’round him, the wind gentle, pushing the drift one way, switching to the other, back and forth. Catching itself below the lamp lit air. It was like he was caught in a snow globe of life and his own imagination inside.

Napkin Poems 1 [11-14-10]

Staring from the boat deck
Out into an ocean of a blue
So deep
So dark
So compelling
I reach out over the edge
Catching the salty air

High above is a sky
As deep
As dark
As compelling

Stars twinkling just as
The moon light reflects
On the bewitching water

So close, easy to touch
To lose yourself in
Drowning in awestruck
Beauty and seduction
But there is a chasm
That separates you
There is much beneath
The surface of those
Everchanging waves

Also much is beyond the limits of our eyes
So I will work and wait to uncover
The beauty beneath and beyond
That thin yet heavily guarded wall

quotes on poetry

Mathematics and Poetry are… the utterance of the same power of imagination, only that in the one case it is addressed to the head, in the other, to the heart.  ~Thomas Hill

A poet looks at the world the way a man looks at a woman.  ~Wallace Stevens,Opus Posthumous, 1957

To be a poet is a condition, not a profession.  ~Robert Frost

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth.  ~Jean Cocteau

Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.  ~Rita Dove

Poetry is plucking at the heartstrings, and making music with them.  ~Dennis Gabor

“Love is friendship set to music” [[11-5-10]]

Fingers extend across keys
of white void
every haunting

and pitch

hands spread wide
pads of your fingers
creating beauty in the air

face not relaxed but
not strained
simply there,
not a smile, not a frown

even when produced from
memory, music will
expose the soul

when bonds are made  through music,
they’re deeper
more intimate


©2010 Terrah Short