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"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.
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