Who remembers, jingles with the buzz; if you hear
1981, do you see those small tables? jostled round
by young sophisticates, and here, one northern
bush kid, easy tan of metis
(years before capital M and definitions
that don’t matter in the shimmer of the music).
This girl is 16, down in The City to visit
her sister who has broken the cocoon, and laughs
in perm and lipstick, excellent shoes on her
fabulous legs, she knows (she’s at jazz school)
one of the players (he became a teacher) in the band, and says
daringly, he’s a good kisser. The girl sits, drinking pop
wondering at her own array, is it camouflage, or wings?
a lace-panel blouse from le Chateau, beyond
in one moment only, their life. It will take years
before they laugh, striding down Whyte Ave, known
themselves, self-made royalty in thrift store bargains.
In 81, we didn’t know that, here too, it mattered to trumpet
all that we were, up front, so loud that nobody
could pull the rug out from under our beauty
from any direction. Now, the music wavers;
on stage, watched by The Scene, I remember how
he didn’t look back at her, and she
had to keep her head up, no quaver
Meh, I say to her memory, tell the truth
he probably kissed like he drummed, too much
flash, not enough rock steady. See her? that’s
a queen stepping past in her excellent shoes.
Every true note remains a shimmer.