The shot gun house on Cambronne
eased into silence as the street lamps flickered on.
Well, slipped into that naked sound that night makes at least.
A sputtering old engine and tires over gravel.
A young thief’s whistle
as he saunters on home after a long day—
Sleepy Memés cackling on the neighbor’s front porch,
ice cubes chiming in their glasses of sweet tea.
Light bugs buzzing around the window pane.
Jean-Pierre yawning his little dog yawn,
settling at the foot of the bed.
The deep sigh of relief
from every floorboard and roof top
as the darkness hummed
another bayou lullaby.
Papa only knew but four notes on his saxophone:
Sweee Bah Dum Dum Dooo.
Jean-Pierre raised a furry paw
and barked his little dog bark.
Mary Faith shuffled toward the bedroom,
the comforting shoo shoo of worn house slippers.
Her tongue clicked against the space on her gums
where her front teeth used to be.
“You wake Dawlin’?”
Halfway awake probably.
I could smell the Lilac oil she used to smooth her hair over those big spongy rollers.
“Well you better git wake! Papa heyah baby. Ya heard?”
I stumbled behind her cautiously,
wasn’t as comfortable listening to Papa as she was.
Stale yellow light from the street poured through the stain glass.
Colorful shapes danced about the chair in the living room.
“Oh, he’s just laughing at those wide golf ball eyes you got, Chile. Calm yo nerves.” She smiled a big toothless smile at the chair
and toyed with her wedding band.
I always thought it was a funny thing,
burying the dead.
Especially if they just come back to the shot gun house on Cambronne
in the middle of the dark!
to play the saxophone.
Dooo Dum Sweee Bah Bah.