I teach literature, composition and creative writing to terrific young people at Colorado Christian University. I am a coffee snob by morning, and a wine snob (price permitting) in the evening. I find that everything in life goes better with jogging and yoga. My poems have appeared in many journals, and my collection Beyond All Bearing was published by Wipf and Stock. The more poet friends, the better!
after Paul Motian
They slip in from the sidewalk one by one
as the day dims to brown. Some stake tables
near the stage, some lean against the bar.
Spot lights burn like suns on the drums
and baby grand. Amber whiskey glistens.
Jazz fans sip, waiting for the blues.
When the tunes begin, the strangers
lean in, begin to pulse and sway, in sync.
The pianist plays a fast, flat-fingered riff.
With finesse, the spike-haired drummer
solos. His cymbals sing, shimmering.
A killer bass line conjures jazz gigs gone,
and then a slender ghost commands the scene,
playing through the changes. A woman claps.
He laughs, nods to the crowd and disappears.
The woman bites her lip and runs her finger
around her glass, stained red with pinot noir.
The crowd is on its feet, “More, encore.”
Notes soar and burst, then die like fireworks
in a darkening sky. The house lights rise.
The lonely leave alone—and slip into blue midnight.
© 2019 Susan Spear
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