The Midland Hotel

By Debbie Brennan

Location: The Midland Hotel, Peter Street

My father concentrates on the keys
when his slender hands
play Delibes, Chopin and Grieg,

transforming cacophonous talk
into hints of whispered trysts;
drinks clink and wink at the Turkish lights.

The man braying into his phone is
silenced, as he imagines his wife
cascade down the stairs with a delicate laugh.

My father’s on board an opulent liner
that carries him off to a far away land
without Manchester rain or traffic jams.

When the guests take their leave
with a nod or a smile, the diaphanous notes
slip out and follow them home.

Debbie Brennan lives in Glossop and teaches at Oldham Sixth Form College. She has just completed an MA in Creative Writing at MMU. She wrote this poem about her dad who played the piano in the foyer of the Midland two evenings a week for twenty years.

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