08 December 2009

Van Houten & Cianci Street, 1943

A quartet plays
in the gazebo
at the center of Paterson
Tri-color bunting and streamers
line the roof and banisters
more on the red brick windows
black and white couples
dance in the street and square
kicking sideways at each other
mouths open in a song or yell
Statesmen stand around a plaque
smiles with suits and cigars
like a card game without a table
Townsfolk in simple clothing
stand at the curb
eating over-wrapped hot dogs
their children look up
anchored to balloons
the clarinet player in mid-solo
leaning back to bring the horn
up to the microphone
the drummers arms and cymbals
invisible from the beat
The sax players face
a smudge under a hat
the balding bass man
takes up half the stage
looks down through sunglasses
surprised at what he is doing
all of the colors and sounds lost
leaving only a second
found in a faded print.


Ciara said...

Amazing conjuring of a moment in time, Bryan. I could see it all so clearly as I read. Is it from a photograph?

Bryan Boru said...

Yes, found in my grandfather's basement.

Anonymous said...

You wrote that from a picture? Wow...you got some skills there. I don't think I could write something so great from a picture.