Ralph Poetry

This is for
the Night People.
Good Night.

I'm driving around aimlessly with my radio on.
If it's Montreal, I'm all alone on Sherbrooke Street,
Montreal West, past Loyola College,
well, it's not called that anymore,
winding around little sleepy avenues where
everybody's tired, even the trees are tired
of holding up the sky tarpaulin, it gets kind of
saggy past midnight, the paint's still not dry so
all those stars are shining and sparkling but
some guy is whispering
that smooth DJ voice is saying
this is for the night people and
this is the best feeling in the world when I roll my
window down and breathe that cold air in my
lungs because who is playing that saxophone on
the Rideau Canal? Who is blowing that music
while everyone is asleep in Ottawa?
I can hear it on Bank St., inside a little pizza
place, I can hear that midnight howl, this is for the
night people, it's time to move, time to look
outside the little window in your house and say
where is the door to get out of here, where are
the wheels, when can that gas start burning,
when can I stand outside the gates at Quebec City
and pour the night sky into my coffee cup,
and are you the one who will sit beside me in the
little horse drawn carriage, shivering under the
blanket, watching the cold breath air come out of
our mouths, and there's that music again,
who is that? Who is that saxophone serenading
winter lovers? Now who is beating the drum,
two three four two three four hit the hi hat hit the
hi hat. And yeah, is this really Cavendish and
Cote St. Luc, Montreal, my home town, can you
smell the bagels? Really, it's 3am,
this is when the bakers are listening to the radio,
they are making delicious cakes,
they are stirring up that rhubarb pie
I will shortly be having
for breakfast on Decarie Boulevard.
Yeah, everybody stops to listen to
that smooth DJ voice, this is for the night people,
this is for the night people.
Good night.

*For Ross Porter. God bless him.

© 1998, Ralph Alfonso

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