Practicing

My son is practicing the piano.?
He is a man now, not the boy
whose lessons I once sat through,?
whose reluctant practicing
I demanded—part of the obligation
I felt to the growth
and composition of a child.
Upstairs my grandchildren are sleeping,?
though they complained earlier of the music
which rises like smoke up through the floorboards,?
coloring the fabric of their dreams.?
On the porch my husband watches the garden fade?
into summer twilight, flower by flower;?
it must be a little like listening to the fading??
diminuendo notes of Mozart.
But here where the dining room table?
has been pushed aside to make room?
for this second or third-hand upright,?
my son is playing the kind of music?
it took him all these years,?
and sons of his own, to want to make.

-Linda Pastan The Last Uncle

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