The sisters come, one for each workday. He loves
the corkscrew hair of the youngest, how she sits
with her knees apart, how she plays the cello as if
she were reading Braille, eyes closed, fingers tender, tapping
and then bearing down. He stands behind her, holds
out his arms like a second set of wings. Like this, he shows.
A world moves between them. Oh she says and Oh again.
The eldest is the most gifted; she doesn't listen
to anything he says, holds her violin at the wrong
angle of chin, but he teaches her anyway. He wants her
to take chances. Play in a blizzard, he suggests. She shrugs
thin shoulders, curves redwood behind each ear. The girls putter
or start fights with their mother, who waits in the hall,
who listens for what she imagines
could be herself coming out of them,
loving music, loving it so hard it changes to a nut
at the center of their stomachs,
a pecan-shelled sense of what can be done
with a finger and a string, what can be done
to the body to make it sing.
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