Lessons

Let yourself in, wait in the living room.
The cat knows the orange couch shows off his tortoiseshell fur.
Photo on the wall: your teacher laughing in a canoe.
When she calls, pick up your instrument.
Grand piano, window, two chairs facing the bookcase.
She on the right, you on the left.
Where to put your fingers,
how to move the bow.
Her voice and the cello sound.
She writes instructions for practice in a clear hand.
You can never be her, but if you could choose
to spend your life inside this room, you would.
Discipline and joy you grasp to pull yourself through.


About the Author: Alison Hicks is the author of poetry collections You Who Took the Boat Out and Kiss, a chapbook Falling Dreams, and a novella Love: A Story of Images. Her work has appeared in Eclipse, Gargoyle, Permafrost, and Poet Lore, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Green Hills Literary Lantern. Awards include the Philadelphia City Paper Poetry Prize and two PA Council of the Arts Fellowships. She is founder of Greater Philadelphia Wordshop Studio, which offers community-based writing workshops. www.philawordshop.com