My youngest brother plays a nocturne
by Chopin in rickety, bumpety rhythms,
his fingers searching for the proper keys.
He doesn’t see the ghost of our father
hovering behind him, its head cocked
left then right to better hear the notes.
Ghosts in Noh plays in Japan are said to
suffer in the afterlife because of their
attachment to their pasts in this one.
Our father left us for the land of
shadows more than forty years ago
and seems content to live there,
except for when he visits us to hear if his
youngest son has finally learned to play the
nocturne he himself could never master.
© J.M.Keating 2015