Dr. Jones at the Piano

I see Dr. Jones in the evenings, playing piano,
framed in the triangle of his front window—

a short, thick man and grizzled around his baldness,
his back to the picture glass, shoulders bunched

as he raises his face to the score, his forearms lifting
and lowering chords that float through the pine

and liriope twilight. Chopin, Scriabin?—I can’t quite catch
the strains that pass through the glass, cross the dusk

to the curb where I stand, holding a dog leash
and thinking of the late Mrs. Jones, whom I never knew,

and then of you, whose heart I wouldn’t want to break
by dying first. Not quite. It’d be enough to know that you sat

of an evening and played in a minor key, that your fingers
crawled over the keys and felt your way through.

Hope Coulter

Hope Coulter

Hope Coulter directs the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language at Hendrix College. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, including The Yale Review, Southwest Review, and Terrain, and her collection The Wheel of Light was published in 2015 as part of the New Poets Series of BrickHouse Books. Awards for her writing include the Laman Library Writers Fellowship, the Porter Prize for Literary Excellence, and four Pushcart nominations. She lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Hope Coulter

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Author: Hope Coulter

Hope Coulter directs the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language at Hendrix College. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, including The Yale Review, Southwest Review, and Terrain, and her collection The Wheel of Light was published in 2015 as part of the New Poets Series of BrickHouse Books. Awards for her writing include the Laman Library Writers Fellowship, the Porter Prize for Literary Excellence, and four Pushcart nominations. She lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.