From a Childhood

piano keysThe darkening was like riches in the room
in which the boy sat, almost hidden from sight.
And when his mother entered, as in a dream,
a glass trembled in the quiet cupboard.
She felt how the room  betrayed her,
and she kissed the boy: “Oh, you’re here?…”
Then both looked fearfully at the piano,
because some evenings she’d play the child a song
in which he found himself strangely deeply caught.

He sat very still. His great gaze hung
on her hand, weighed down by its ring,
as if struggling through drifted snow
it went over the white keys.

~Rainer Maria Rilke

From The Essential Rilke

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