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True Praise

I used to look at your wrinkly hands And see the veins follow routes like a map Your fingers shook like a spayed chihuahua on the piano keys Demonstrating the chord in which I was supposed to play after you I was thinking instead about the stool we were sharing How old and fragile the wooden piece was The green-blue floral padding faded and worn The chipped, wobbly legs That creaky sound when you repositioned... And I was praying it wouldn't collapse under our bodies Your voice was gentle and calm Softly pushing me back to my practice and my fingers played that bright G Chord “Very good,” You praised with a smile Your voice so small and lightly faded But still loving and pleasant You explained to me arpeggios and broken chords And I was glad it was you explaining it I remember yelling at my dad And throwing a big tantrum over playing “Allouette” His straight harsh voice cut my fingers off the keys As he ordered me to pay attention Watching his hairy fingers demonstrate the left hand And then the right Pressing loudly and ramming the song into my every being And I remembered I was never concerned about making him angry I would laugh if he made a mistake in teaching Or if he stumbled on his words - which was frustratingly rare I would scream if he corrected me And yet I was determined for his praise That he never gave Your son loved music like you And he wanted me to love it just like him In an annoyed kind of way, I obliged But I would make him suffer for forcing it on me Even if I couldn't deny it was something I would always love We never have our piano lessons anymore, Grandma But I will never forget how you taught me That stool remains in the room It hasn't been sat on for days And it took far more than mere days To receive from your son…true praise But that’s okay I will pray it collapses under his body

Copyright © | Year Posted 2014




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Date: 5/28/2014 6:13:00 PM
Hi there. I must apologize for being busy, lazy and unresponsive. Now, this is "very interesting" (spoken with a German accent). You have me thinking about my own dad. He never gave praise. The closest he ever came was, "The relatives would be proud of you." You have expressed your feelings with clarity and finesse. A glimpse into your mind. There is something so very special about your honesty. Thank-you for sharing this moment. You have restored my wavering faith in humanity for now.
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Date: 5/10/2014 11:52:00 PM
I admire the tension you articulate with such true feeling Laura, and your dark wish speaks of justice for joy mishandled by a domineering Guide. The gentle affection you express for the Grandma teaches that love should never be hurried or forced. History made real from the piano of pain. A great write Laura. J.A.B.
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Laura Breidenthal
Date: 5/10/2014 11:54:00 PM
Thanks Justin for a most pleasant analysis. You never fail to impress me in your writing and understanding. ~Laura
Date: 5/10/2014 9:18:00 PM
I heartache that cannot be erased by time. Wow, this poem is amazing in depth of emotion, sadness, and tells a million stories of emotional neglect. Such pain.... I hope to have the opportunity to hear you on Drake's show. Good wishes..!
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Laura Breidenthal
Date: 5/10/2014 11:34:00 PM
Thank you thank you thank you! I am soooo nervous, but excited!!!
Date: 5/10/2014 4:07:00 PM
My minds eye became a cinema screen as I watched your poem unfold in brilliant HD. Excellent write.. Andy
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Date: 5/10/2014 1:46:00 PM
Hi Laura love the romance in this nostalgic memory, very well done...David
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Date: 5/10/2014 12:41:00 PM
Laura, after some days of silence you came back with a big bang. This captivated me from the beginning and took me to see its scenes like they're occurring right in front of me. Yes, the images are THAT vivid. I'm glad to have known your work.
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Date: 5/10/2014 8:39:00 AM
Laura..this is beautiful! Your poetic instrument allows for a most lovely tune; could your piano playing exceed this? :) I'm no copycat...but this goes in my favs, too! // paul
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Date: 5/10/2014 8:11:00 AM
With this piece I have added you to my favorites. I am beyond impressed by your eloquence. You possess a rare gift.
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