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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

On the Porch


A light breeze on a Monday evening
that sees the first fireflies
neighbor raccoons and rabbits
cross freshly mowed grass
that's mostly weeds of all kinds
as flashes from storms
to the northwest try to keep up
with Lester Young on saxophone
and those he played with
springing beats on the night
Buddy Rich on drums
Nat Cole on piano
even in the thirties
of the 20th century
Oh, he was before my awareness
though his time extends into this era
because of all the recordings
with the greatest cats of forty years
in a blessing beyond the ability
of all religious texts to comfort
with these rolling lines of sax notes
that suspend the night
with applause that I want to join
only to change my mind since
it's past ten in the night
past times when
Billie Holiday and Lester Young
Prez and Lady Day
played in '57 on CBS
died within months of each other
her broken heart
they're rotting livers
when I was seven in '59
in my house not interested in jazz
with parents who probably
could not remember their names
I'm on a porch keeping them alive



Barry G. Wick




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