She would play the piano
whenever someone hinted
at national anthems.
For years she practised the French
the Dutch, the Greek, hesitantly the Russian
though they never seemed to differ much.
It was Bill, she said, Bill taught her
and sent her the musical notes from beyond
evening after evening or after months of silence.
It was then she tried her own songs
national anthems in their own way
melodies from countries still to be discovered.
In times of happy communication
Bill being back on the air
she would predict the future
for a few pennies more.