So thick were these deep woods filled with dew and moss and prey. And music. Some nights, Für Elise. Others, Amazing Grace. Depended if the pianist was practicing or preaching. Chords resounded through a simple house, double dormers aglow in a dark clearing hidden within maple and cedar and narrow trails leading nowhere. A mother listened from the kitchen. Gloved in oven mitts, awaiting neat rows of tender dough to spring from their hot cave and into a communion of little palms. A boy camped below the long awning of black and white keys struck to life by older hands. He marveled at the automatic ballet of wrist and thumb. Memorized the choreography of treble and bass, pedal and foot. In daylight, there would be no concert. No audience. Just two legs too short to reach the floor gliding onto the glossy seat to sound out a tune, bar by bar. Eyes untutored in the measure of the written page. Ears unable to forget the seduction of a song.

Jonathan Everitt is a Rochester, NY-based freelance writer whose creative writing has been published or is forthcoming in The Empty ClosetLake Affectmagazine, The Finger, The ImageOutWrite annual journal, Le Mot JusteEscape Into Life magazine, Upstate Gardener's Journal, the Hobo Dog video series, and as the basis for a short film, “Say When.”