Overstrung by Ms Paige Turner

25/08/2020 // by Jan Moran Neil

‘Overstrung’ by Ms Paige Turner


My moistened cloth
dabs discord
on your cream keys,
which you have oiled
with finger grease
over years
spilling tears,
plodding keys
to please.

My veined fingers
make amusical nonsense,
like my wired voice
post breakfasts
tuned into “scales”.

Here have we both played
imperfect harmonies,
plodding keys
to please.

You know,
this piano
is bigger than both of us.


There has been a piano in our home for almost thirty years but as you can hear in the poem above, I never played but polished. This morning two gentlemen came to lift her away, covering her black spruce in a shroud. Tomorrow I shall hear her in tune when my daughter plays what she learnt so well at Chorleywood piano lessons whilst I sat marking words in the car. I have earned the music but she is moved now to a new home.

The poem was published in my collection ‘Serving Bluebird Pie’ which the talented Heather Scott illustrated with such acute observation. I wish I could display her picture here: it’s of black crotchets splashing tears on to keys. I hear a new poem coming on …

Here’s to you sending me new words for the new anthology ‘When This is All Over’. Up to 200 words for the Rennie Grove Nurses please. To info@janmoranneil.co.uk and don’t forget a sentence or two of who you are and where you are from.

What do you want to do ?

New mail

What do you want to do ?

New mail

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