‘Round Daylight

Under a mound of dirt you lay
I imagine a saxophone
Playing ‘Round Midnight
Maple trees line the road
Their shade saved for the living
While you lay beneath the blazing sun

Under a mound of dirt you lay
On the winds float the notes
Of the Yolanda Anas
Blue pinstripes and a pinky ring
Which direction do your feet point?
It would matter to you

Under a mound of dirt you lay
Not even a butterfly stops to rest
Upon white stones churned up
To make space for your withered presence
Whose eager fingertips once thrummed tabletops
To the tune of The Wind Song

Conversation has ended
Quiet disquiets
Not even a vase of spent flowers
There ought to be a combo
The rumble of the subway, sirens and horns blaring
Street lights and summer fog on the long drive home

The music has stopped
There is no one here
Save the groundsman who clips the grass short
And leads me to you
Right at the 19th Maple tree, stop a few paces short of the road
You will find him, buried under a mound of dirt

You should not be stretched out in Paramus
But scattered in Montreux, Newport and Paris
On the sidewalks outside Birdland, Dizzy’s, the Blue Note
All you ever wanted was good company
A nice lunch, a glass of wine and a few tunes
There is no one here but you

Slumbering beneath a field of grass

NOTE: Bruce Lundvall was the President of CBS Records when the company transferred me from San Francisco to New York City. When he heard I was thinking of leaving, it was he who convinced me to stay. I still have the letter he wrote me telling me he was glad I had taken his advice.

Many years later, Bruce championed a proposal I had written to many companies in the music business, asking each of them to bring therapeutic music listening to men and women living with Alzheimer’s and related dementia. Bruce co-sponsored the project with Dr. Andi Farbman, then the Executive Director of the American Music Therapy Association.

In the early spring of 2015 in assisted living because of advanced Parkinson’s, he called me, his voice soft, his words slurred and trembling, and asked when I was going to visit him. I made plans, but the day before my scheduled visit Bruce passed away. He had called because he wanted to say goodbye in person.

Bruce Lundvall, my mentor, my champion, my dear friend.