POETRY: “Music Lessons” by Ellis Elliott

I can tell you about the student learning
by holding a bag of beans in her palm
in order to feel the weight of the notes
in her body. It intrigues me to think
of the heft of crescendo, ascending
decibels gathering upward, and whether
they float or seem tethered as she lifts
her arm before the inevitable descent,
whether it strikes at the center of her
sternum and drops like a silver pinball
to her belly. I can tell you the weight
of grief lodged between my ribs, changed
in time from puddle to solid, palpable
beneath the surface of my skin. I wait
for them to disintegrate, become smooth
black shards like bass notes, my body
an open mouth ready to sing.

Ellis Elliott is a writer, teacher of ballet, and facilitator of online writing groups called Bewilderness Writing. She has a blended family of six grown sons and lives in Juno Beach, FL. She has an MFA from Queens University, is a contributing writer for the Southern Review of Books, and section editor for The Dewdrop contemplative journal. She has been published in Signal Mountain Review, Ignation Literary Magazine, Literary Mama, OPEN: Journal of Arts and Letter, Plainsongs Poetry Magazine/Award Poem, Sierra Nevada Review, Women of Appalachia Project Anthology, Copperfield Review Anthology, The Rail, Spotlong Review, and others.