When she began Rachmaninoff
Grandmamma put on her face
a sad smile reigning over the keys
while I hid beneath the piano
to unravel my Matryoshka
dolls who came from the inside of others
and thought about Mama's mascara
after Mr. Wonderful left.
That was the name Mama used
when he patted my head that summer
and I never thought to question the smile
In the painted eyes of my mother.
Looking back then, I sometimes wonder
if I really hid from myself
why she hugged the toilet that night
before she came down to the parlor
to see me cradle one of the dolls
and knelt to hear my make-believe
lullaby that suddenly stopped
music from the piano.