Old Danish Jazzmen in the Rain
They are knowing, old and gray,
the Danish jazzmen playing in the rain,
while we sit listening beside the harbor.
They do not seem to mind the rain
coming through the canvas roof, the light
unraveling around them. They banter with us,
the trumpet and the trombone players
laughing on their liquid horns like fish.
While we sit listening, the rain
begins again and stops; a dog barks
at a seagull circling the boats;
and somewhere people riot in the streets
and die. While we sit listening,
bending with their supple notes, we try
to know the laughter of our lasting
in the gray and unrelenting sky.
—Norman Leer, Madison