By Ricki Mandeville
for Laura Nyro
Never heard you sing firsthand
but I have heard your themes
echo through hollow corridors of night,
dark mirrorings of undreamt dreams,
wild metronomes of innocence and pain
sung like red ribbons, wailed like silver rain.
Never sat faceless at a table at the back,
yet I have lain surrendered in the dark
as you wove tattered midnights whole again
singing my history back to me,
my bitter cocktail sugared in a sweet word cup,
turned holy wine before the sun came up.
You belt it out, your fingers
supple on the keys and in your voice
a long note lingers, mends these tapestries
fashioned of spent years and unspent passion.
You are pure light now, invisible to us
who weave our way
through tangles and through tears.
an angel in the dark and stoned on soul,
waiting for Eli down by the grapevine,
the roll of your songs like ocean in our ears.