Claire McGoff

His mother's foot lifted off the pedal,
and down again.  In 3/4 time, she cradled
the notes that swelled, tender,
from the low crafted ceiling above the boy.
His eyes followed the lullaby's legatos

as they ran along twisted patterns in the rug
that cushioned his small frame.
He stared up into dark rafters, hollows
that housed the hammers and felt.
He peered out into the other world. A sun beam

traveled across the floor and up
the dark  legs of the hutch. He watched
the patent leather of her shoe
push the soft pedal down, lift off,
and off.  With her right hand, she reached

for the final measure,  her little finger
holding the fermata. What he wanted always
was just one more repeat
with a lasting ritardando as he drifted 
beneath his mother's music box.

Claire McGoff  lives in Silver Spring with her husband and six children. She has been a member of the Writer's Center for several years, participating in a number of workshops, including personal essay, memoir and poetry.



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