Mom and Sidney are still playing piano.
I like pouring milk over my cornflakes
trying to match the tinklings that spill into the kitchen.
Now Sidney’s gone home. Mom plays just for me
and I run around in circles in the living room
and collapse on the lambskin under the piano.
I look up. I see the hardwood and pedals
of the moving hammers and strings—
the piano’s heart—when Mom plays just for me.
I wrote this poem for my teacher and mentor, Myra Cohn Livingston, who was compiling a book of poems about mothers. I had never had anything published before. When Myra accepted this poem, I could barely eat or sleep—I was over the moon! I almost sent out a birth announcement to all my friends about it (really!)
My mother is a classical pianist; there were always musicians in our house rehearsing with her. I loved Mozart, Shubert and Beethoven background music in my life as I did my chores. But I also loved having Mom all to myself when she played just for me. And I loved lying on our lambskin rug under the piano as she played.
April’s books include Scholastic’s Best Seller, To Rabbittown, a free-verse picture book, Knopf’s it’s Not My Turn to Look For Grandma! (recommended on PBS’s “Storytime”), the Sydney Taylor Gold Award-winner New Year at the Pier, and the multi-award-winning Girl Coming In For A Landing—an illustrated novel in poems for teens (Knopf). Her CD/MP3 of stories and poems won the National Parenting Publications Gold Medal for storytelling; her poetry appears in numerous anthologies, and she’s a seven-time recipient of SCBWI’S Magazine Merit Award for Poetry. April has taught in over 400 schools across America, in England, Italy, Germany, France and Poland. She blogs with five other children’s authors who also teach writing on TeachingAuthors.com is a founding member The Children’s Authors Network and has been an instructor with the Writers’ Program of UCLA Extension for over a decade. Her website? www.AprilWayland.com where you’ll discover she’s ½ author, ½ poet, ½ not good at fractions.