Here you will find the Poem The Player Piano of poet Randall Jarrell
I ate pancakes one night in a Pancake House Run by a lady my age. She was gay. When I told her that I came from Pasadena She laughed and said, "I lived in Pasadena When Fatty Arbuckle drove the El Molino bus." I felt that I had met someone from home. No, not Pasadena, Fatty Arbuckle. Who's that? Oh, something that we had in common Like -- like -- the false armistice. Piano rolls. She told me her house was the first Pancake House East of the Mississippi, and I showed her A picture of my grandson. Going home -- Home to the hotel -- I began to hum, "Smile a while, I bid you sad adieu, When the clouds roll back I'll come to you." Let's brush our hair before we go to bed, I say to the old friend who lives in my mirror. I remember how I'd brush my mother's hair Before she bobbed it. How long has it been Since I hit my funnybone? had a scab on my knee? Here are Mother and Father in a photograph, Father's holding me.... They both look so young. I'm so much older than they are. Look at them, Two babies with their baby. I don't blame you, You weren't old enough to know any better; If I could I'd go back, sit down by you both, And sign our true armistice: you weren't to blame. I shut my eyes and there's our living room. The piano's playing something by Chopin, And Mother and Father and their little girl Listen. Look, the keys go down by themselves! I go over, hold my hands out, play I play -- If only, somehow, I had learned to live! The three of us sit watching, as my waltz Plays itself out a half-inch from my fingers.