After the Great War, Silas Talbot
had the men from Skowhegan run a few strands
of copper wrapped in tar tape through the silt
at the bottom of Long Pond, three miles to where
he worked in the woods with his wife. For years
the thin amber note of their gas light was lost
in the gulf of night, blue waves of snow
deadening the hum of their small cabin.
But once their telephone was installed,
it was only weeks before his wife
turned her mind to the upright piano
Silas had carted in years earlier,
to keep her occupied so far from town.
And for years afterwards, half the village
would call in to the party line on Friday
and Saturday evenings to hear her play
for an hour after dinner, wearing
her Sunday finery–flared Bakelite bells
resting on tables up and down main street,
and all the valley a musical box
ringing beneath its lid of quartz and sable.