Tony likes to run the keys
before he finds the chords.
He says he can’t help what he does.
Something tells him how to do
what he has never done.
Who put the music there?
Where she comes in,
begins Paula’s Song:
I had a wild hair, honey,
you could never satisfy.
No wonder you’re not here
where I never cry wet tears.
Bobby assembled his clarinet,
changed the reed, put it aside.
He closed his eyes for a moment
and listened, then opened and saw
her sway to reenter the song . . .
I got no water to wet my tears . . .
My wild hair won’t ever be tame.
You left me alone in your house.
What was I to do, I let this guy
curl me around his finger, stay
for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
He took me where I was a sinner.
Bobby thought, You can make your own
brown rice, stir in your slivered almonds.
She kept on: No water will cool these tears.
Never, never, never . . . come home,
I’m gone now, baby, rest easy.
You can be alone now, baby.
She slowed to go on in a long slow moan.
She looked nobody ever in the eye.
She was busy watching Tony’s fingers
go right of middle C, then left.
She ended with the second baby,
starting over with wild hair, honey.
(20 January 2013)
copyright 2013 by Floyce Alexander