The Entertainer

He was playing a Joplin Rag.
Playing the first few bars
over and over.
As if he couldn't move on.
As if he didn't want us to move on.

Back home with the sheets
He would take us A to Z.
The whole history
of the bordello.
Small hours reeling
under forty watts.

Here, where memory shrugs
by the far wall,
he had to go with what he knew.
Had to keep on playing
what he knew.

In my mind, he is playing still.
No less but never more
than I remember.
At the table of ghosts we listen.

Measuring lives. Marking time.

Tony Noon

by Tony Noon

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