Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A New Poem for Live Poets Society

I wrote this up for my Live Poets Society meeting -- obligated to present a few poems, thank goodness for them or I would never write at all! This one came to me almost fully baked at about 5 a.m. I did go to the Cowgirl on Tuesday night (Fat Tuesday) and I did have great Cajun food and heard some good music - and the image of that telephone is still with me.

Heaven at the Cowgirl

At the Cowgirl downtown
Mardi Gras night
Fat Tuesday
Popcorn shrimp, remoulade and Diablo sauce
Fried okra, andouille sausage gumbo
Beer, German, not Cajun, but it doesn’t matter to me

I wear a single string of gold beads
Listen to the music
The Balfa Waltz
Lafayette Breakdown

I think of dad
Three years gone
Quiet under the portal of grass and rain

In my mind, a telephone appears
Not just a cheap flip metal one
But the real deal
The one heavy in the hand
Black, Bakelite
A rotary dial my finger feels with every turn

I use it to call him up
Ce’ va? I say
What’s up?
I wish you were here

We could dance the Balfa Walz
Like we did when I was young
My black patent leather shoes
On top of your brown loafers
Smashing your toes while you smiled
And held my little hands in yours

It’s enough, it’s enough, I tell myself
I know you can hear me calling
Even if it’s not for real,
I know your intention was to meet me

Jambalaya, crawfish pie, file gumbo
Son of a gun
Gonna have some fun
On the bayou, if not in Heaven

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