by Aaron Tooyak
Whenever a certain sonata would play,
My mother would share her cherished memories with me.
She told me stories – making special note of her youth.
I imagine her – peeking around a door.
Listening from a distance,
Her left eye shows, then both, then her whole tiny body.
Her ears twitch as she watches her grandpa lead each ivory note to the next.
Major, minor, white, black. Beautiful, soft notes.
The grand piano sings through the experienced player.
Forever imprinting sounds into my mother’s brain.
The memory echoes through time – as it once did in that home.
The imagery resurrects itself in my mind, as it does hers.
Aaron Tooyak is the youngest of five brothers. He is 50% Inupiaq, 50% Pinoy, and 100% American.