oh, give her a break
she’s a good kid, they told him

attending the premiere 
sitting cross-legged
on one of the padded mats
spread like dusky islands
askew the filthy concrete floor

no, I mean it, her father answered
all she needs are some lessons
instead of homework from her
accredited sulking program

while rifling through the toolshed
I came across dad’s baby grand piano
a used model sitting forlorn
on the linoleum-tiled floor

but I’m sick 
she had yelled
her jaw tightening 
as she turned back
to the tv show 
about the screwball family
it didn’t matter which

and besides,
I don’t want to learn

when called upon
she could deliver
an endless stream
of things detested

but not one joy

"No, I don't do that anymore. "
she said, talking to a friend in her kitchen.
She was talking about oil painting.

" I gave it up when I got busy,
Work, the kids, you know how it is."
She said all this while poking at a half eaten piece of cake.

I guess I was just curious, said the friend.
The woman's husband,
in a recliner in the next room, did not look up from his newspaper

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