Charmaine Thomson

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Impromptu with sharks

I sat under the piano in summer
to hide from the incoming sharks
that my brother saw in the bath.
We were underfoot while Mum played Chopin
to calm us, her nocturnal children.
My small ears didn’t like Beethoven,
he was too loud and angry.
My father had cancer in winter.
I stopped talking to Ludwig,
who still had his joyful hair.
Schubert stopped chemo kisses, in spring
remission rose to the surface
one thousand times.
I hear Beethoven these days and know he belongs to me.
My father and I will argue about him
until one of us dies.

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