Strange Cell

Strange Cell

It was a strange cell, with only
a bucket, two cots and a
piano.  

I can’t say why
the two of them were there, the young man, young woman,
only that they were.
With a piano, a bucket and two cots, and
no common language, no common spoken
language, but they were each aspiring concert pianists, so
music was a shared tongue. 

It quickly, almost accidentally, became how they spoke
for the cell was frightening and cold, what with the concrete and
the iron bars, what with
that bucket.

So, after all footsteps faded
down what passed for a corridor, and silence
grew thick as a wall,,
one and then the other would play. 

At the beginning, that is, after they were brave enough to try a few notes and no guard
shouted or appeared—they only played songs they knew. 
Luckily, there were many—far too many in some ways, as once they began to play,
each itched
to occupy the bench. 

But almost as soon as the trading of songs became their method
of communication, they knew they needed to improvise. 

For the pieces they knew only seemed only to get at certain things—
longing, yes, but it was a longing
for something deep and emotional, not, for example—“I’m longing
to use the bucket, could you please
turn your head.”

Some songs (surprisingly folk dances and polkas worked well)
could be played with great urgency; these were easier
to mold into some insistent pass of
why in the hell
this cell? 
And, I think they may be bringing
the food, better
be careful.

But, soon enough, hands that lived to fly, birdlike, over the pale keys,
needed to gesticulate—

Their fingers felt, at first, ridiculously bared, mid-air.
It was only when the other’s face softened
into comprehension that the humiliation lifted.

There was never complete darkness in that place, but little light,
when the sun set, and
it was in the near-darkness that each placed a hand
on the other’s arm, breast, thigh, tapping out this song,
and then another.

******************************************

Here’s a long, but I hope interesting, draft poem, another written for April.  Poem and pic are mine; all rights reserved. 

 

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2 Comments on “Strange Cell”

  1. Sherry Marr Says:

    What an amazing story. I loved it. So good.


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