Ivory and Charcoal Memories

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Contributor: Allison Luan

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Each sigh shook my fragile frame,
The once pristine performance dress is stained with tears.

My fingers are rough, my hands are muscular,
The scars of years of practice and constant critiques stumble me.

From the brightly lit stage, the glaring spotlight judges me,
Just as the audience watches my every movement.

The lump in my chest continues to expand with each shiver,
And my palms become sweaty and numb.

Sitting on the leather seat, my hands shake as I take a final breath,
And the black and white keys feel familiar again.

Each staccato of the key to the legato of a measure travels through my body,
And drowns out the tears and anxieties that come with the performance.

The keys have formed together to soothe me,
To help me forget the demands of teachers, parents, audiences.

My movements are timed to the millisecond,
And perfection is an expectation that I have grown to hate to reach.

With a single note, I exhale and embark,
On a journey I have repeated a million times before.

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Allison is often found slurping on a hearty and familiar bowl of Pho or picking through the thousands of titles on Netflix. Her passion for the youth and her lifelong hobby of playing the piano fuels her childlike personality, spreading optimism and inappropriate laughter.


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