Claire on Tuesday.
I’m playing mandolin in the corner of a smokey room
and she sits hidden on the floor playing flute.
She plays Irish melodies.
Everyone is smoking, the air curling with rhyme
Everyone is drinking including me, including her,
Why she hides on the floor behind a chair , near the door
I don’t know.
Everyone is singing , everyone is playing.
Then she rises , walks over and sits next to me
and says , ''how does that tune go?''
I put out the cigarette because everybody’s smokin’
and I put down the beer because everybody’s drinkin’
and the mandolin’s on my lap and I
play a few chords , and I
sing a swift melody.
She points her wide eyes across the room and raises
a silver flute to her mouth
her lips caressing
the old tune I’m singing
the mandolin clicking , feet tap tap tapping .
''It’s the smoke I don’t like'' she says.
And its true the ceiling is high.
And it’s true everyone is smoking.
And it’s true if she stops arriving
then the flute stays at home ,
and the mandolin , tap-tap-tapping,
Is heard all alone .