Tribal

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Because you were already singing
Ring of Fire
as we approached the table,
the Social D version
thumping out
through the restaurant’s
speakers.
We slipped into our seats
and into the chorus
at the same time.

One by one,
you dropped ice cubes
twenty-feet down from the deck
where you stood watching
the pinking sky,
aiming for my glass
full of tepid beverage,
raining joy
and refreshment.

You baked a cake,
full soft and sweet centered,
topped it
with a desiccated hand
and waited, giggling,
for me to take in
the entire sugar
of this long anticipated reveal.

Beach house, kayaks, fire pit,
me assigned the room
with the balcony and best view
so I could wake to ducks
and friends and bacon,
we sat on the sand
watching surf roll
and spring tease,
talking of crab feasts
and college towns.

Entry halls strewn
with instrument cases,
you bring your guitars,
banjos, percussion pieces,
everywhere,
including on vacation,
encouraging
us to sing along,
loudly, enthusiastically,
even if badly,
subsuming us
in each musical moment.

It is because you have patiently waited,
stayed beside me
while I found my own key,
made note of it,
and adjusted
your play accordingly
so we all could be
at our very best,
that we are
tribe.

 

Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 20

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