Eye On Life Magazine

Lifestyle * Literary

Eye on Life Magazine is a Lifestyle and Literary Magazine.  Enjoy articles on gardening, kitchen cooking, poetry, vintage decor, and more.

Mostly Basie with a Little Bach

 

Whenever I see a new woman, I know 

I should look at her hair and her eyes and her smile  

before I decide if she’s worth the small talk

and the dinner later 

and whatever else she may require 

before she becomes taffy, 

pliant and smiling. 

But that never works for me.

Whenever I see a new woman, 

what matters to me is never 

her hair or her eyes or her smile;

 

what matters to me is her saunter 

as I stroll behind her.

If her moon comes over the mountain

and loops in languor, left to right, 

and then loops back again,

primed for another revolution, then

I introduce myself immediately

no matter where we are, 

in the stairwell or on the street

and that’s when I see for the first time

her hair and her eyes and her smile  

but they are never a distraction since

I’m lost in the music of her saunter.

 

Years ago, tall and loping Carol Ann

took a train to Chicago, 

found a job and then one summer day 

walked ahead of me on Michigan Avenue 

while I surveyed her universe amid 

the cabs screeching, horns beeping, 

a driver’s middle finger rising. 

Suddenly she turned and said hello 

and we shook hands and I saw her smile 

dart like a minnow and then disappear 

as she frowned and asked   

why was I walking behind her. 

 

I told her I was on my way to the noon Mass

at Holy Name Cathedral and she was welcome 

to come along. The sermon wouldn’t be much, 

I said, but the coffee and bagels afterward 

would be plentiful, enough to cover lunch.

And Jesus Christ Himself would be there.

She didn’t believe me, not at all, 

and she hasn’t believed me since. 

 

That was thirty years ago and now

her smile is still a minnow

darting here and there but now 

it’s more important than her saunter 

which is still a symphony, 

mostly Basie with a little Bach.

 

And I no longer traipse Michigan Avenue 

as I did years ago looking for new moons 

swirling in my universe. Instead, 

I take my lunch in a little bag 

on a long train from the suburbs

and I marvel at one fact:

It’s been thirty years since I first heard 

the music in her saunter

and Carol Ann and I are 

still together, praise the Lord. 

Who can believe it? Not I. 

Carol Ann says she knew 

the ending from the start. 

Lord, Almighty. Fancy that.

 

Donal Mahoney