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This was written by my high school AP English teacher, Paul Erb. Yes, we are now friends on Facebook, even though he terrified me back then. Every once in a while, he posts something he’s written, and while I usually like what he’s posted, this one really spoke to me. So I’m sharing it now with you:

Cafe

I.
Try singing now.

In Casablanca and in Cabaret,
The people stand and say
In song
What they’ve been feeling all along.

Ugly or strong

I read this week about a dictionary
That hanged its accolade, choking praise,
Upon the word “post-truth.”

If that’s the key of our times,
then play The Marseillaise!
The future belongs to me.
Half a melody will call me up,
Or maybe I won’t wait. I’ll enlist,
Ragged private of a tenor,
Shouldering my part, pianissimo, rallentando,
Boosting my buzz with overtones
More true than truthy.

II.
Once, you stood alone
Just sixteen measures in,
After a cafe reception, in the noon sun near Hoxton Hall,
And explicitly didn’t say you were in the closet
Sad, holding the music, not ready yet to sing.

I let the rest sing then
But will sing with you now that you may be at risk again.

I welcome the voice
That will stand up now
And sing its throat dry.

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