Piano Moving

By | 13 May 2024

It is an old piano
and we are taking it to the wine caves,
piano movers in the mini-van, Herbert and I in his black Mercedes.

The piano sits in pieces,
rescued from the Klausterhopf Hotel, Vienna,
the van making its way across the 400 year-old city of vineyards nearby.

It used to play for Queens
and Presidents, but now, it is only us,
an investment banker and her client, each affianced to someone else. Entering

Herbert’s wine cave, we plunge
into darkness. We search for the remote
for the computer to turn on the lights. He pours. We drink white wine,

red actually, a claret,
he explains, pressed without skins and stems. As the assemblers
screw in the piano’s legs, lay down the bridge, attach the soundboard,

polish the bench, I climb
a dew-wet, metal girded barrel in the cellar. At the urging
of Herbert, the wine-meister, I dip my taster in, retract the cool, light liquid.

Placing one finger at the end
of the pipette, so as not to lose the wine, I drink. A melody
floats down from above, tinny. Like the first blush of a summer vintage.

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