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War Looms as My Brother Plays the Piano, by Lydia McFarlane

Updated: Jun 8


Sour notes and my sister’s soft scolds

I used to dread such things.

Now, their noises furrow beneath my ribs, leaving emptiness in their wake.

And who knows if I’ll ever hear it again?

For now, I’ll sit back and smoke my cigarette

Pretending that the clanking keys

Aren’t filling me with sorrow.





My name is Lydia McFarlane and I am from Wilkes-Barre, PA. I am a rising sophomore at Villanova with intended majors in Communications and Political Science and minors in English and Russian. This poem is the result of a writing workshop with Professor Catherine Staples. It was inspired by the painting “The Piano Lesson” by Henry Matisse. While I am not sure what the future holds for me, I am grateful for the opportunity to explore my interest in creative writing and share some of my work with all of you.


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