Here's an excerpt:
He lifts the heavy panels free
And props the hinged lid open. Wide-
Eyed, the youngest daughter cranes
Expectantly to peer inside.
What's hidden there?
As I read those lines, I saw my dad opening the lid of an antique upright piano to reveal the action within, a little girl at his side, mesmerized by the strings and hammers lined up in perfect rows like little soldiers ready to march. I saw all those homes that my dad went into over the years, bringing the gift of music to those within. I also saw all of the pianos he worked on over the years. Big uprights, grands, spinets, Yamahas, Baldwins, Steinways. He collected them in his memory the way some people collect acquaintances. As I read the poem, I got a glimpse of the other side of the story. I saw the families welcoming my dad and their appreciation of his expertise. What a gift to realize he affected his customers as much as they affected him.
My dad loved the poem and at the customer's request submitted it to a piano technicians' journal. It was accepted, which made my dad quite proud.