Thinking once again of National Poetry Month at The Green Parrot and recalling something that happened here during Jack Hackett’s “One for the Road, a Poem-a-Day” that demonstrated to me the magic that can be created by the spoken word in the simple but rich setting of a barroom.
Before the band started their 5:30 Soundcheck set Jack Hackett read his poem, Trombone Solo by Stoddard King and when he had finished, he invited anyone else who had something to read to do so.
I said, by way of encouragement, “Who’s next? I know there are some folks out there who have a poem that they’d like to share, one either committed to memory, banging around in their head somewhere, or maybe folded up on a scrap of paper they’ve carried around for years tucked away in their wallet”.
Well, up to the microphone stepped Amy, a local patron, who said she had a poem she would like to read, and it was indeed a poem that she in fact had kept for years folded up in her wallet, given to her by her mother some four decades ago.
She unfolded the tiny, deeply-creased scrap of paper and, with her mother seated at the bar just a few feet away, listening, began to read the poem.
Armor by Ann Reichmann:
You don’t know it
But I never really leave you
When I go off to work
I tuck the warmth of you
under my sweater.
I fold the sound of you
into my mind.
I roll up your smile and
hide it behind my eyelids
so every time I blink
I laugh with you.
I paint the touch of you
On every spot that may be vulnerable,
And just before I walk into the world
I raise the parasol of your love
Safe-until I’m home again
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