A Night in a Nohant

       (One player shuffles a pack of homemade cards, picks a musical key;
       the player opposite must describe the key using words or phrases.
       Advanced players only: keys can be replaced with single notes.)

A minor – rain, mansard roofs,
the heart a bedraggled stray animal
looking at the turning of wheels,
the silk button you recall
your mother stitching onto the pleat
of a blue coat with a grey lining.

C major – blocks of colour: the sea,
a field, kittens, a child, a daffodil.

E flat major – white china plates,
to be the last of a party on its way
to the river, the seed heavy heads
of grasses brushed by skirts, notes
like butter left in a warm dish

B – on a faded wall of thin-sky blue, the trembling
reflection of the smallest pane in the house,
the late low sun netted in a mesh of leaves.

F sharp – snow-melt filling the grooves
of carriage wheels as you walk along
rue Rivoli at dusk; the moss which spends
its winter covering the arm of a stone seat;
that woman you remember shaking a red rug
from the first floor window of a white house
in a city you’ve forgotten or confuse.

Helen Farish

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