With enough wine and pleading Fender licks,

even the coy and self-conscious finally join in,

myself being one, convinced that all around us

glances are exchanged and smirks are passed.


It was a November night, late in the second set:

the tipping point, when the fuel of the drinks

is about to give way to the fatigue of the drinks,

the precise moment a good bar band lives for.


Time to take it up a notch, eleven on the amps,

save the best for last, blaze through the haze,

strut the greatest goods and showboat the solos.

Time has come today, time is on our side, yeah.


Then the damp tinder of the resistance catches

and the room is suddenly all knees and elbows

and idiot grins, and God, even leers and winks.

The floor is a drum and the glassware rattles.


And I, having discharged my small obligation

during earlier numbers, glance out the window,

a veteran wallflower putting some safe distance

between myself and this embarrassing abandon.


And the snow, in big fat Christmas-card flakes,

the first of the winter, dances past the window,

the most graceful of all, unnoticed by anybody.

No one is looking, I go waltzing across the dark.