Posted in jazz music, New Orleans

A Song Begins to Breathe

george lewis study



Below is a free write tribute for Black History Month.

The picture-pretty calendar shows the promise of emerging pastel Spring blossoms. The short month of leap year ends at day 29. The page is not yet turned as if someone is holding  onto the hope that something important will occur-26, 27, 28, 29. “February is such a short month,”  she sighs. The floorboard creeks in the early morning as a faint light hits the kitchen table. Outside the window is the banyan tree. It seems as if it  has been there forever as silent as failing words. Instead comes the  music,  long sounds, riffs of carefree, lively notes, not drowned by hurricane waters or great floods. Jazzmen and women hold lyrics nobody has ever recorded, secrets of those who lived before. The notes are melodies that linger in the breezes of fluffy admiration. You know he plays melodies thinking about the way she looks when she knows some things are best left unsaid.  He plays thinking of her, the way she rises without guessing he’s not asleep; he has gazed at her shoulders. She is his sable-brown and mahagony woman. Her eyes shine right through your soul; her hair sparkles and her words come from places scented like spices of the ancestors from Senegal. Her hair is mixed with piney wood smoke and tales of the original people, maybe Opalusa or Chawasa from across the lake. His father liked to tell the same stories over and over, and the children didn’t ask him to stop even when they could form the words in their mouths as he spoke. The stories wrapped them up like rolls of soft dough.

The man holds his wife in his arms as the world stops hurting and a song begins to breathe.


Copyright © 2016 by Susan E Rowland