Last Call

This next selection contained in WITHOUT FROM WITHIN: POEMS BY RON SHAW was written to be performed while listening to 56th Grammy Winner Laura Sullivan’s composition “Moonlight Passage.”

Some editorial changes have been made to the initial selection.

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Internationally acclaimed, award-winning, and bestselling poet and author C. William “Justice” Clarke performs my poem, “Last Call” to the composition “Moonlight Passage” by 56th Grammy Winner, Laura Sullivan.

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To Justice and Laura, my deepest appreciation!

Last Call

New York City and it’s 1942.

The rain is coming down harder,

the night swallows him.

It’s so damned hot.

He sits in his window sill, staring

motionless

into the wet city streets,

looking for a breeze, a girl to return,

glaring at nothing.

Even the roads are dead.

A few poor souls scamper soaked

towards cover, cover of the night.

He needs a place to hide right now.

In the little jazz bar across the street,

a haunting tune drifts

from the open door

into his black abyss.

He is as lonely as he’s ever been,

desperately in need of a drink,

a lot of them.

She left him again.

Why?

Who knows for certain.

He did something so wrong

but very familiar.

She won’t be back,

not this time.

He lights his last cigarette,

trying to understand

How can two people be far apart

and so in love?

He knows she still loves him.

He tried to apologize.

He always does but this night

she’s gone, truly over him.

He hopes she is safe and dry,

somewhere close. Suddenly,

he can’t feel her.

The panic inside him explodes.

Her perfume fades

on his neck.

The rain fights against him, too.

It also knows she is over him.

The rain is only trying to help.

But nothing

not even that hauntingly perfect music

from the piano, the horn, will aid.

Oh, God! He prays she is close, dry and safe.

The smoke from his final Camel drifts

lifeless into the night.

He better make it last.

Nothing lasts long in his life

not a cigarette,

a job,

his girl.

This one was special.

She’s the one. Now that’s over.

He can hear the piano,

pounding out the last sinew

of life in his heart.

How did they know

what tune to play

in that little jazz club

across the way?

Does everyone in New York City,

in the world, know he’s suffering?

The sweat rolls

purposely

down his brow and onto his guinea T.

Hope evaporates, taking his last draw.

The music fades away

onto the drenched streets.

The rain won’t stop. His heart has.

Yes, she is gone.

Copyright © 2016 Ron Shaw

The music dims to silence.

Laura Sullivan’s, “Moonlight Passage.”

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2 Responses to Last Call

  1. Ron,

    The words flow so vividly, one can not only hear the music, but take in the aroma of the rain and smoke…intertwined with the weight of emotion within the repetitive, habitual regret. Beautiful, vulnerable, and identifiably real. Despite the reality, compassion ensues on the wings of hope. Yet, truth upholds, in the realm of struggle…where the beckoning of hope’s invitation remains faithful.

    One of your best, Ron.

    Suzanne
    Suzanne Holko recently posted…“Random Acts of Kindness…Caught Being Good?”My Profile

    • ronshaw says:

      Suzanne, I love the way you write! Thank you so much. I think Laura Sullivan’s composition combined with poet/author, Justice Clarke’s powerful performance of the poem are the magic. I’m honored to be in such great company, such as yourself, Laura, and Justice.

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