Bop Juice

by Amy Barone

I arrived at Small’s Jazz early to find a long line outside.
So fine to see fans in their 20s and 30s.
Got the best seat in the house, atop the short bar.

Clifford hides under a green checkered cap,
behind a sporty sweater striped yellow.
So smooth from the onset.
No banging on his sizzling drums.

He’s got the intricate beat down,
tap, tap, tap.
Tippity tap.
Band leader Ralph LaLamma blows his horn.

David Wong stands upright at the bass.
Gershwin, “Antiqua,” Love Letters.”
“Love Walked In” —
the last book my mother gave me
inspired by the obscure standard.

Like good loving — the music’s slow,
lively.  It’s all the juice I need tonight.