In a tight little pub,
in a tight little corner,
she sang with her
band of minstrel men.
And her eyes shot light,
and her voice echoed
among the scattered
patrons and half-drunk drinks.
She sang the usual standards
with a generous topping
of her smile and passion,
hiding the fragile little girl beneath.
Friends passed as she sang
and kissed her cheek
amid the flow of an old familiar tune.
And her eyes, attended by smiles,
glanced lovingly around her band
as if they were her possessions,
or the toys from her little girl’s room.
Family, friends, lovers,
and those who came just to come,
heard not the usual empty verses
but notes loaded with synergy.
The song caressed and wooed
in its living among the notes
and the beats and its encounter
with clashing glasses and flowing patrons.
One could hear the distant
clap of rapid drunken hands
from a customer who knows her
but doesn’t know her.
How I envied her familiarity,
her ease in and among
these people of the night
who passionately soaked in the moment.
She seemed not worried at all
about the fragility of life
in her living it truthfully now,
and finding the sacred in this moment.
She was lost in the convocation
of being there with others (for others)
as a focus for their escape,
not caring what the next note might bring.
But for me the music will end
and the pleasure will be gone
with the last desperate note
that falls in the half-empty bar.
And the cold street will, once again,
take all our steps of departing,
as the band packs away its chords
and we enter the moonlight of the afterglow.