By Dan Howell Dan Howell
Her wattled fingers can’t
stroke the keys with much
grace or assurance anymore,
and the tempo is always
rubato, halting, but still
that sound—notes quivering
and clear in their singularity,
filing down the hallway—
aches with pure intention, the
melody somehow prettier
as a remnant than
whatever it used to be.

Source: Poetry (September 2011).


This poem originally appeared in the September 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

September 2011
 Dan  Howell


Dan Howell's collection of poems, Lost Country (University of Massachusetts Press, 1993), was short-listed for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry. He teaches at the University of Kentucky.

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Growing Old, Time & Brevity, Arts & Sciences, Music

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.