Note for My Singing Teacher

for Frances


But your funeral filled two church halls.


Tom playing for you, still wearing his coat.

the school jazz ensemble playing you out

like you planned.


i don’t lament over things.

i’m not worried about the Swedish haircut

or even the incident with the door.


Sorry never does any good, sorry,

but I forgot to dance in the aisles


better get hit in your soul

when they clap the clap

syncopation with a sax.

I forgot to dance in the aisles


so by the church on Church Road

I listened to the clapping

Zita wore chilli lipstick and danced

without thought, without weight.

You could say she danced for all of us.


by Amy Barnard

Taradale High School