Poem: Blues to Jazz


diner 3

Blues to Jazz

The radio plays Amazing Grace,
a slow, mournful bluegrass version
that oozes hurt and pain
more than joy and revelation,
less a hymn than the blues with mandolin and guitar.

The room is empty. You and the cook,
who is more concerned with not burning the bacon
than the state of his soul.

But in your own, there is a cry of Amen,
a gratefulness for this side of your journey,
that your heart and soul have found refuge,
deep love at last, a thing of passion and peace
you had come to believe did not exist.

You are unlost, even now,
when you are not certain where the path takes you.
You have become comfortable with fog
and narrow paths.
comfortable with darkness.

That is what survival does for you.
Each scar is a new strength,
a beautiful painting of horror and blood,
a song of tears written on skin and soul
until both are marked like some ancient African warrior,
your story told for all who care to see,
a thing less of pride than courage
to bleed in public.

The song ends and you smile.
Another sip of coffee.
Another sip of history,
A deep gulp of gratitude to your God
and the woman he sent you
as a new song begins,
guitars, bass, and a low trombone,
dancing Amens, from blues to jazz in a moment.
You toast the radio with raised coffee cup
for the celebration of life, as it is.

About this poem

A real moment this morning in my favorite diner.



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