The Drywallers Listen to Sinatra While They Work

This morning, my mother, here
for the holidays, is washing
the breakfast dishes, when Al, wiry,
coated with drywall dust, takes
her hand and says, “I bet you loved
Sinatra. Dance?” The acrid smell
of plaster floats through the room.
Frank is singing, All or Nothing
at All
, and Al leads my mother
under the spinning ballroom lights
across the new sub-floor. He
is smiling. She is looking over
his shoulder. The other guys
turn off their sanders. Al
and my mother move through
the dust, two kids back
together after the war. Sinatra
holds his last note. “It’s been
seven years since I danced,”
my mother says. “Then
it was in the kitchen, too.”
Al smiles again, says,
“C’mon then, Sweetheart!”
biting off his words like the ends
of the good cigars he carries
in his pocket. Sinatra’s singing
My Funny Valentine, and
my mother lays her hand in Al’s.
They dance again, she looking
away when she catches my eye,
Al leading her back
across the layers of dust.

© Jack R. Ridl 2001

4 thoughts on “The Drywallers Listen to Sinatra While They Work

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s