The house is empty.
The windows are shut.
The practice pedal on the upright piano is depressed.
It takes twenty minutes to massacre
Haydn’s Capriccio in G.
Afterwards, I wash my hands
and imagine a salon in Imperial Vienna.
The theme is hiding in a harpsichord.
Joseph extricates it.
He releases it, chases it and recaptures it thirteen
times in seven minutes; mostly in a cheerful mood.
One hand marches and the other plays triplets.
How is this done without severing the hemispheres?
He juggles with it; multiple plectrums pluck the strings.
He steadies it with the left hand, tidies with the right
and staples it shut with three identical chords.
I examine the history and discover that Haydn
took his theme from an old Austrian folk song
called ‘It takes eight people to castrate a boar’.
I don’t like it anymore.
Diane Hine's Other Poems
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