Writing Catalog

Maxwell McNeil

Grade: 12

St Ignatius High School

Instructor: Kimberly Gross

Distant Dancing


Distant Dancing

Nimbly my fingers waltz across the piano keys
Disciplined like an adept ballet dancer,
ferocious like a shouting river.
They leap and stretch,
Commanding the instrument to sing.

I don't scan the music in front of me.
My empty eyes stare at my hands,
Mind wandering yet devoid of thought.
The device makes a resonant noise,
But my untenanted head is silent.

I have no need for instruction,
I've performed this dance many times.
I've listened to the piano's calls:
The softest secretive murmur,
The loudest triumphing trill.

As the swelling song crescendos,
My focus shatters, control is lost.
My trained fingers stumble and slip
As I emerge from my trancelike state.
My waltz is finished.

Yet I am beckoned, allured by
Lost vows of grandeur and love.
I remember the piano's promise,
So as I crack my knuckles and begin again
I renew my vows and resume the dance.