Playing in the Band (Podcast)


"A hundred people dancing so hard they’ve thrown off their shoes . . ."

Playing in the Band

All over this moonlit mountain neighbors call
the cops, and the cops call TURN IT DOWN,
but it’s too late to stop “Wild Night”
with a hundred people dancing so hard
they’ve thrown off their shoes.
I’m turning fifty with a star-burst
guitar hanging on my hips,
rhythm hand keyed to the high hat cymbal,
and when Billy rakes E-D-A and sings
Let me tell you ‘bout my baby,
we crank it up another notch,
sweat pouring, wine pouring,
fireflies flashing like a marquee,
Billy belting out G-L-O-R-I-A, Gloria!,
his hair grown back from chemo, a glory,
my step-father, on vacation from chemo, a glory,
Steven, smiling, one day post-chemo, a glory,
James in his tux, finished with chemo, a glory,
Marlena and my mother dancing
without their breasts, a glory,
all of us shimmering in summer’s halo,
bandaged by rags of music and moonlight,
playing in this glorious band of the living,
shaking in time to our lives.

For more on this poem, please click here.

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