Literature » Poetry

“Junior Mance Trio 63rd Street Theme” — a poem by Michael L. Newell

Junior Mance, 1965





piano dances listeners down the street
feet must move to keep up
crowds gather round
street life jumping this way and that
voices whispering in the background
yeah man this is life on the street
the drums commenting on note after note
phrase after phrase and the piano
leaps five steps ahead two to the side
three to the back c’mon man keep up
and the bass keeps a rock steady beat
no matter where the piano goes
and the drum never loses its way
the audience bops heads shoulders
and hips and the piano constantly
explores all possibilities while those
in attendance swing and sway
there is no way to leave here
until the piano man shows
everyone the door with a sweeping
gesture unleashing a cascade of notes
that leaves all smiling moving
a-grooving slip sliding out the door
night settles into bones and home beckons






Michael L. Newell is a retired secondary school English/Theatre teacher who currently lives on the south-central Oregon coast. He has had poems recently published in (among other places) Verse-Virtual, Culture Counter, The Iconoclast, Ship of Fools, and Red Eft Review.