Somehow, things turned for the worst.
She didn't get hired at Eastman,
Julliard or Berkeley; so she got a job playing piano
for the voice trainer at a little Bible school
in the Midwest, a dry town where they
manufactured preachers and preachers' wives.
Here she was sure she would die. And early this morning
before they turned on the heat, she went to play
alone in that dour hall, stopping to warm
her fingers in her armpits. (Rumor was,
when a man came in June to tune the piano,
and struck the first notes of Don Giovanni,
bees raged from under the strings
and punished him, punished him.)
Now these drab boys and girls--no, she wouldn't
say men and women--entered the room, and sat
watching her. A bit more time to play the Adagio Cantabile
from Pathetique, before yielding to "Give Me Oil in My Lamp."
A million piano players in the world;
and she, being that one too many,
gone to the mean prairie. Proof, come to
think of it: there must be a god.

:: Steven Huff, Proof (Two Rivers Review, 2004)

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