bumming beers off’f the piano player

the last time I saw Andy

I wish it was the time we went wandering drunk

searching the downtown bars

looking for his old man he’d not seen since

since exactly when he couldn’t remember

but it was a happy time & he wanted that back

we were looking & listening for the piano man

standing in doorways listening first for a tinkle

some showtune being banged out on an old Joanna

that was his old mans gig made his daily bread

after hours of walking we heard the keys through the door

went in bought a beer at the bar sat up close

trying to catch the old man’s eye as he played on

cigarette curling smoking on the old upright open lid

a row of beers from customers on the shelf behind

after a while he took a break took a piss came back

sat on his stool smiled at Andy ‘good to see you kid’

‘any requests?’ & climbed straight back into his gig

when his next beers came over he sent them to us

so we stayed a while listening to the hep cat play

until later the barman asked loud like who are the kids

bumming beers from the piano player all night long?’

when you hear that kind of tone you know it is time to go

we smiled & waved at the old man tickling the ivories

& he nodded pleased to be alone again with his skills

the last time I saw Andy I wish it was the time

we went wandering drunk searching the downtown bars

not the time he was crying in his drunk hours

talking about it was time to take his leave

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