Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Explaining an Eighties Band

They lined up against the wall
In a quartet, like band-mates
Posed for an album cover.

The tallest, on the far left,
Caught buttoning his collar,
Grinning, his chin tilted up,

While the other three all turned
To watch or comment on him—
First, the second-tallest man,

Then the woman, her hair up,
Then the short, oddly-shaped man
In big boots with a huge beard,

The three of them caught profile,
Also grinning, black and white,
Backs to the white alley-wall.

Two of them actually had
Been in a band, and three were
Musicians, and all three men

Had slept with the one woman,
Who was then seeing someone
Somewhere out of the picture,

And they were all still good friends
And would remain so for years,
Two of them a decade plus,

Before finally drifting
Too far through other partners,
Occupations, countries, lives,

And it’s a good photograph
From one sunny afternoon—
Young friends, standing by a wall,

None renowned for anything,
Any time before or since.
But no, they were not a band.

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