in the rehearsal room

in the corner of the room
she’s set up a kind of mobile stage
with a keyboard and a microphone
song passages on a music stand
the foot pedal below
waiting for a touch

the black-vinyl chair
is almost ready to sing now
and all that’s needed is …

no

there it is now
just arrived
the staccato beat of raindrops on tin
is the applause she needs
to start the show

a few notes on the keyboard
before she sings …

~

I listen from the stalls
a small bed against the facing wall
in this rehearsal room

it’s like a concert played for one
or two
and the dog and I
are appreciative
it’s not every day
we hear her play
she’s so often on the road
to a cafe
or a pub
to private functions
where neither of us can attend
uninvited

so we soak it all up
take her in
and know that each song
has a private side
she only shares with us
on a night like this
with the rain applauding from the roof
the fire burning bright
and a bed against the wall
of this rehearsal room

her music surrounds us

~

it’s time to get ready
I can see the professional look emerge
and the assumption of some distance

she has sorted out
the music for tonight
now packing equipment in the van
keyboard and p.a.
stands and mikes
and music books
all tuck away in places familiar

back to the room to change
black pants
black top
the elegance of formal darkness suits
because tonight
she’s set for business
playing for pay is no amateur affair
and attention to detail
is a step towards the next job
and another pay

mascara in general
this brush in particular
is a recalcitrant tool to use
as an aid for the enhancement
of beauty
it layers in lumps and
to my eyes
is a shading un-needed
but takes just one place in a pantheon
of eye-liner and blush
even a colour to darken the lightness
of lips I adore
as they are
just as they are
as she is

but I know nothing of these things
and stay quiet with my thoughts
while she musses her hair
with a customised wax
then
standing above me
a cheat in big heels
I have to look up and reach higher
to kiss her goodnight
and

good luck
all the best
slay them all at their tables tonight
with your voice
and these wonderful songs you’ve rehearsed
here before us
me and the dog
and the rain on the roof
I’ll do the dishes
I’ll keep the fire alive
and we’ll wait for you
to come home


© Frank Prem, 2003

Still in awe. Still delighted.

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9 thoughts on “in the rehearsal room

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