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The Tenor Man

by
 Pottering around the stage,
a hyperactive ancient in his own backyard -
independent of the band it seems.
Disrhythmic shuffling of ashtray, beer, a pack of cigarettes, adjusting microphones, then in the middle eight he draws, exhales, and catches breath, stoops forward to the mouthpiece and blows, a tumbling counterpoint, scales soaring from his horn.
The melody flows until the break, and then he shoulders arms, a truce between the music and his ailing lungs.
Between choruses he sits apart to light another cigarette, a sideman counting out the bars until he rises for the coda - this Lazarus of swing.

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