While I Practise My Piano

I’m being haunted by child spirits.
The door keeps opening.
Will you sit in the room with me
while I practise my piano?
You can even sing –
they won’t like that,
your voice would send a bee
careering into a wall,
or would start a cat wailing.
There’s the door again,
why are you so slow
at in getting here?
I’ve got to keep playing
else the child spirits
will take over my piano
and play tunes of their own,
tunes that might scare me,
and once they got going
they’d never stop, so
please keep me company,
please sit in the room with me
while I practise my piano.

Copyright: from Up on the Roof: New and Selected Poems (Faber & Faber, 2001), © Matthew Sweeney, 2001, used by permission of the author and publisher.

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Born in Donegal in Ireland, Matthew Sweeney was one of the most original poets writing for children. The author of eleven books of ...

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