Virtuoso by Valerie Parente

The virtuoso had a way with sound,
able to move every rock or stone,
forcing movement through sound waves,
that’s how she moved every soul.

“I feel everything you fear,”
she told the townsfolk,
and she sat before piano keys,
as they watched the organ grow.

Every new listener
was as good as fooled,
they thought they were witnesses,
but they were really her muse.

The years went by,
and this girl continued to play,
playing on others’ emotions,
and for years, that was okay.

But the townspeople became suspicious
as she built a world so profound,
and it wasn’t much longer
until they had her all figured out.

People lit their torches,
with one hope in return,
if she was still going to play,
she might as well get burnt.

That piano caught fire,
in this land full of discipline,
as if a village were ablaze,
on top of the instrument.

The surface of the piano,
grew higher and higher,
like cottages in flames,
and she still felt inspired.

The townsfolk failed in their mission,
to mute the music with heat,
because sound can withstand,
any temperament you preach.

– Valerie Parente (4-19-2021)


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