on a grey day
she walks from the station
and folds her dry raincoat
onto my stool —
I will sit taller at the piano

birdlike, this examiner
doesn't sit to listen
but hovers —
turning pages and pointing out
features of the music

next time
she conducts my exam
I must play her own sonatina —
she hurries me on
to the Chopin

a song written
on the train near Ashfield
says her note
… I hope someone else
still knows the tune

metal trunks full of paper —
so many melodies
hidden away

For Miriam Hyde 1913 – 2005

Julie Thorndyke (New South Wales)
First published in Yellow Moon
Also published in Women's Work

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