Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.
My friend, Carolyn (aka Bayou Warrior), invited me to go to a performance of a blues band on Thursday night. I don’t usually do these kinds of activities during the week, but I wanted to experience this group and welcomed the opportunity to spend time with my enthusiastic friend. When we walked into the Acadiana Center for the Arts, a woman about my own age looked at my black cowboy boots and said, “Someday I’m going to be brave enough to wear cowboy boots.” This comment struck me because I don’t think of myself as brave when I wear my boots. I wear them when I am celebrating.
When Carolyn and I sat in the balcony, I pulled out my phone to save the line in my notes. As I typed it, I thought how it would make a good first line of a poem. I passed the phone to Carolyn and said, “Add a line.” She quickly caught on that we were writing a collaborative poem. The performance inspired chair dancing and more lines for our poem.
Chair Dancing to Heritage Blues
One day I’m going to be brave enough to wear black cowboy boots,
black leather skirt too. Maybe a peak of red hidden under lace.
A flower covered scarf around my neck.
A spray of real perfume,
dark winking earrings.
I’ll do some chair dancing
Listening to catfish blues.
Witness watery reflections on the baby grand.
Two dapper hats
Creole singer flying free
Sunset drummer setting the stride
Remember when you’re walking up to heaven.
Don’t let nobody turn you around.
Sometimes you gotta stand up and dance
Like here … Louisiana crossroads
Sometimes you gotta shake it out.
–Carolyn Hidalgo and Margaret Simon
For more musical fun, go to Amy VanDerwater’s site, The Poem Farm, to hear my students take the challenge to Sing that Poem.