"I Loves You Porgy"
Grey head nods as an organist plays –
winks her way. In her chintz-backed chaired
cosy circle, her eyes light up – head to one side,
hand to ear. Around the curl of a corner,
a song recalled; beckons me closer;
a lucid moment, too brief to miss.
The first time she heard this, she says,
she was six – going on sixteen; hugging
her knees, perched on the stairs, Sis too,
in their nightgowns. A party for grownups;
but how they longed to be down there,
and how they danced – bare-footed
beneath the gas-lamp on the wall,
until scolded back to bed...
Only there, her story ends...the thread
is lost – it doesn’t matter. She’s told it
many times before. ‘Cup of tea, love?’
I ask, as smiling, she nods...
not the faintest who she is, anymore,
or who I am, but that Gershwin song sticks.
Some things, once heard, never forgotten,
like the first time we met, her lips
speaking my name.