Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Blue Monk

As always we played late into the night
Exploring beats and rhythms
Cadences and silences
Harmonies and melodies
Running with the ball
The punters had long gone
A drunk slept in the corner
We hadn’t the heart to turf him out
Body draped across table
Sticky with drying beer
I’m off for an early night,
Said Del, the proprietor -
If you can call two-thirty early -
Lock up after
Set the alarm
We played on
Did we not have homes to go to?
Immersed in the rhythms of our own lives
Weaving strands of melody
Untangling knots
The exit door banged open
A chill breeze blew through
Scattering cigarette ends and beer mats
Rattling glasses and optics
Easing the heavy fog of stale cigarette smoke to one side
We were playing a slow song
Blue Monk
Idly following the familiar bluesy path
Sliding around the bass run and the drum pulse
Darting between the cluttered chords
She walked in as though it were daylight
As though she owned the place
And walked across to the sleeping drunk
She sat beside him
Like a mother’s shadow
We reprised the theme.
Dah dah dah dah, dah dah dah di
A last statement. A resolution.
A fond farewell to the happy minutes
We’d spent in Monk’s company.
Then, on the final drum beat
As the last low note faded
The man’s empty body slid from the table and hit the floor
The last few wisps of stale smoke dispersed
And the woman was gone

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