Sing a last song
for the lady who has gone,
fertile source of guilt and pain.
The worst birth in the annals of Brooklyn,
that was my cue to come on,
my first claim to fame.
Naturally, she longed for a girl,
and all my infant curls of brown
couldn’t excuse my double blunder
coming out the wrong sex,
and the wrong way around.
Not readily forgiven,
So you never nursed me
and when all my father’s songs
couldn’t sweeten the lack of money,
when poverty comes throught the door
love flies up your chimney,
your favourite saying,
Then you gave me away,
might never have known me,
if I had not cycled down
to court you like a young man,
teasingly untying your apron,
drinking by the fire, yarning
Of your wild, young days
which didn’t last long, for you,
lovely Molly, the belle of your small town,
landed up mournful and chill
as the constant rain that lashes it
wound into your cocoon of pain.
Standing in that same hallway,
Don’t come again.you say, roughly,
I start to get fond of you, John,
and then you are up and gone;
the harsh logic of a forlorn woman
resigned to being alone.
And still, mysterious blessing,
I never knew, until you were gone,
that, always around your neck
you wore an oval locket
with an old picture in it,
of a child in Brooklyn.