I've caught him staring at my fingers when I play,
regretting my patron saint.
I don't even remember who she is.
But if I pound out a Chopin flourish,
or a laugh at an off-key stroke,
he shakes his head, and says
he should have given in to Cecilia.
He could not convince my mother
to grace me with his eyes, they tugged
back and forth and left me hazel.
And he could not convince my mother
to grace me with his hair,
she left the field with strawberry,
dishwaterdepends on the light.
But he won the naming tiddlywinks,
flipped Julia into a cup,
then listened, dismayed,
to a four-year-old impatience for chords,
Beethoven sight read,
no fat-fingered chopsticks,
and knew he should have lost to Cecilia.