For Pops

by Baba Israel

Back in New York
Walking the streets thinking of my dad
who he was and is
a sweet soul with a Brooklyn bite
able to go from the Avant Garde to the Yankees in a flash
able to make friends with anyone
the old Italian man from down the block rough and raw
the traveling nomad steeped in yoga and breath
the jazz musicians who all let out a Damn when he passed
the emcees who held a moment of silence at the Nuyorican
my pops a true artist and human being
I feel you with me falling into my words and my tears

Back in New York walking the streets
thinking of
my dad

You were with me tonight
not standing in the back of the jazz club
where I might find you
but with me
You were with me in the scream of the saxophone
not next to me but in the spaces between space and time moving
words and echoes
Your were with me in the spaces of the solo
You surrounded me
As I waited to perform I felt like it was my first time taking to
the stage
your home
for 58 years your home
And as I stepped towards the microphone
I was with you

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