Waltz in A-flat major

I recited this poem yesterday in a workshop called “And then I wrote…” with Lynn Harrison and Gregg Lawless. I thought it was appropriate in a bunch of ways. First off, it fit the theme, but we’ve all been subway buskers at one time or another, too, plus Gregg was in a band called Bloor Station, which is the setting of the poem. And then I wrote…

Waltz in A-flat major
It was one of the waltzes in A-flat major, by Chopin
So said the subway musician, by way of reply
To my asking the name of the piece he had played
That sounded so free, and so open
It seemed that the tracks in the tunnel led straight to the sky.

It was one of those moments when everything just comes together,
Like watching a movie, and yet being part of the scene
Two acquaintances met, just by chance, and shook hands,
And proceeded to talk of the weather
An old woman made gestures to hurry to someone off-screen

Two young lovers played princess and courtier; a girl with her mother
Squealed in delight at the sight of a pup wearing boots
And everyone turned at the sound of the train,
And bunched up behind one another
And made their ways home by an infinite number of routes

It was one of those moments; it ended the way it had started
And yet left a faint hint of something for which I’d been groping
In a moment we live, in a moment we love
In a moment we die, and are parted…
It was one of the waltzes in a-flat major by Chopin

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