Small Town Jazz, Part 2

This is the second installment in an epic poem that began here yesterday.  Stay tuned for more.


It took me three years to get this place up and going

I worked constantly

The kitchen sparkled

And I found musicians, you wouldn’t believe where

Guys who desperately wanted to play

Guys who knew the good music, the old songs

My cook was from the back country

Up some creek and hollow

She took tiny plants that grew at the edge of a spring

And pulled the leaves and hung them to dry

And mixed them in the sauces

Nobody knew what they were

But they wanted more, always

“What does she put in that chicken?”

How many times I’ve been asked that.


After three years of not breaking even

I was ready to give up

The tax bill lay on the desk in the office

I wouldn’t make payroll


That night two limousines came out of nowhere

Rockers who’d played in the city the night before

“We heard about this place, man. . . “

Every table was full that night

And I sold everything in my stores

Their bassist sat in on “Moonlight Becomes You”

I had eight tables then and

Every one left five hundred bucks

I acted like I knew this was going to happen all along

Because I knew it would


May through August I had honeysuckle on every table

White tablecloths and crystal vases


The Baptist pastor brought his wife

She looked like a million bucks then

“Don’t you ever close this place” she told me

She was like a young girl in my place

“You got a little bit of heaven right here” he said

“Pray for us,” I said

He knew the importance of romance

And that, really, was my whole point

They danced.  She winked at me.


copyright 2017

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s