Key of Me

7 Mar

At ten years old I used to sing

and hit that C above top C.

My mother didn’t call up Richard and Judy

because they were still in school

and book clubs and over-night sensations not yet a twinkle in their eye.

Instead she sent me to a choir

where I sang ‘negro spirituals’

alongside ladies in A-line skirts and pastel sweaters.

All the men had beards,

or at least moustaches.

Because I could not sight read

I had to mouth the words until I’d caught the tune.

Then I would sing it loud and strong and close my eyes.

In the break they’d stop for tea and biscuits

talk about work or their fiancée,

sometimes smile and ask about my day at school,

but mostly I stayed quiet until we sang again.

We sang in German and Italian “Mi piacce re re.”

I don’t know what it means.

Soon I stopped and stayed at home

because it was lonely

standing between elbows,

singing.

I have not sung,

I do not sing,

beyond the in-the-bath type

or with-my-friends.

It often surprises and so embarrasses, when a big voice comes out,

so I have learned to keep it down,

sing in someone else’s key, not mine.

That’s much easier.

But this last year, I’ve started tuning up

and doing things in the key of me.

I find I cannot hit that note, I’ve lost the chance.

I should have used it while I could.

But I will find a new key, sing in that,

maybe find another way to shine.

 

freewrite-type of thing, by Anne

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One Response to “Key of Me”

  1. mouthypoets April 26, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    Hi I’m Izzy, I really like this piece, I feel I can relate to this and that as a reader I feel it’s written in a way I can identify with the character. It’s easy to read and it flows beautifully as I read it. I might read it again now…

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