From “Waveforms: A Short Course in Piano Tuning”

The first thing to understand is movement: the instrument’s magic is
motion and nothing more. See: the boy running and running in the
afterschool wide open, thigh muscles lengthening, contracting,
lengthening; the murmuration of starlings rising in chaotic whorl only to
converge again on the aspen tree—their squawks and warbles morphing
motion into sound. The piano—just perched there—becomes all this the
moment someone’s fingers find the keys. And somewhere, the ocean:
Waves rise up & roll their multi-particulate selves over the shore & back
& up & over again. (the boy imagines his toes are veiled in the receding
surf; the starlings’ distant cousins swoop and dive for lunch) Play a chord
and the sea-god laughs, hoists his trident, stabs it down & stabs again,
calling the world’s whole cache of water to rise & roll & heave. Your ears,
perhaps, are the shore on which the ocean breaks. You, the bare aspen
branches. You, the ground beneath your child’s lengthening strides,
stretching now beyond your bounds. You, the piano’s case, so still, so
stately—it’s purpose not containment, but release.

Andrea L. Hackbarth (she/her) lives in Palmer, Alaska, and is a self-employed piano technician,
poet, and mother. She holds a BA in English from Lawrence University and an MFA from the
University of Alaska Anchorage. Some of her work can be found in Mezzo Cammin, Gravel,
YesPoetry, and other print and online journals.