I found a treasure instead. My piano, “Three-Legged Dog”, a 1917 parlor-grand Steinway piano, helped me write this poem for her coming-out, coming home party in 2000.
We celebrated her arrival in 1920’s costume and music.
She was born in Chicago in 1917, went to New York, was renovated, and settled in my living room many decades later.
So, here she is, my Three-Legged Dog, sharing her poem.
(I would scan the original poem but, I’m happy to say, red wine stains cover some of the words. So I’ve retyped.)
Well, I’ve seen a lot of changes
many looks on many faces
But I’m wondering what you think of me tonight.
So I stand here in my glory
many years and many stories
And I hope to shed for you a little light.
So looking back, we’re sorting
we begin the process courting
of a kinship to discover varied pasts
And I hope that you will find me
just a little more enlightening
than the accumulation of years gone by too fast.
My insides renovated
many hands participated
in the making of this body – Parlor Grand
I’ve been sheltered, I’ve been trampled
left behind and gently sampled
But I’m balanced on these three legs where I stand.
Have you seen me at my low times
or my even just-for-show times?
Can you tell when I need company by sight?
Let me do some rearranging
’cause the times, they keep on changing
So I’m wondering what you think of me tonight.
In front of you I’m standing
so proud of parlor granding
and though it seems you haven’t known me very long
I’ll keep us entertaining
for the years that are remaining
’cause the bond I have with you is very strong.
So, I’ll be here ready for you
and I’ll try hard not to bore you
I’m lucky and I thank the stars above
And I’ll be open, you will hear me
it’s my fortune if you’re near me —
(or is this me I’m really speaking of?)