She storms Town Hall’s stage, determined fighter,
sporting formal dress. A toothy giant
Baldwin grand stands keyed-up to ignite her
thrust. She attacks his body. Defiant
with fierce forays of floor-shaking fortes,
she crows her show of strength. Legerdemain
fingers stress criss-crossed wrists as she essays
pianissimo passages that strain
her battery of skills. These tasks spring traps
to challenge her defense force till it cracks.
But swift sforzandos show how fast she taps
into her arms, till hammered pedals tax
sapped resources. Despite the closing chord
she hunches by the ivory for sore
resistance from the pummeled sounding board.
Unnerved by battles with this rattling score
she stiffens, poised to muffle overtones
that resonate from her prolonged assaults.
They slowly fade away with dying groans
beneath her respiration’s starts and halts.
She slackens following this pregnant pause,
then smiles triumphantly to loud applause.