artwork: ralph murre
Do you know what it means to miss New
by Albert DeGenova
Downstairs my son plays boogie woogie
Professor Longhair Dr. John
New Orleans-style stride piano.
It is Mardi Gras week.
He’s practicing for those
Fat Tuesday parties.
His foot stomps on the floor,
vibrates through the walls and up
to my desk. My head sways in time
to the rhythmic pulsing of his left hand
the dizzying parade of his right
sends serious thought into a funky pirouette
puts a smile on my face a reminder
of that old bouncing gait, of Bloody Marys
and Hurricanes mixed with rum and trumpets
and street dancers with bottle-cap taps on their shoes
a reminder of what this kind of blues can do
to a Dad who knows his son knows nothing
of Lenten sadness, only the joy of dancing,
a Dad who knows his own success
through the songs his son chooses to play –
Big Chief, Stagger Lee, Tippy Tina,
Laissez les bons temps rouler!
~ first published in The Blueing Hours (Virtual Artists Collective)