ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE: THE APOTHEOSIS OF MARY LOU WILLIAMS
It’s light on silver-black and white,
Grainy footage of a smoky room,
A woman at the keys. A spotlight
As perfectly round as the moon
Frames her form. She picks at a tune.
This is jazz, now, it’s uncertain.
Her fingers stop, hover, resume.
She stands, walks behind a curtain.
Years later — in color now –her
Faith allows her to break that long
Silence, permits her to return
To a keyboard. She was all wrong.
This is where those fingers belong.
God wants her to play piano.
A moment, then you know the song:
It Ain’t Necessarily So.
About Mark J. Mitchell
Mark J. Mitchell studied writing and medieval literature at the University of California at Santa Cruz with Raymond Carver, George Hitchcock, Barbara Hull and Robert M. Durling.
His work has appeared in the anthologies:
Good Poems, American Places (Viking/Penguin), Line Drives (Southern Illinois University Press), Hunger Enough (Puddinghouse Press) and Zeus Seduces the Wicked Stepmother in the Saloon of the Gingerbread House (Winterhawk Press). His chapbook, Three Visitors won the 2010 Negative Capability Press International Chapbook competition and was published in 2011. His novel Knight Prisoner is available from Vagabondage Press
His poems have also appeared in many magazines over the last twenty years, including J Journal, kayak, Blue Unicorn, Black Bough, Santa Barbara Review, Pearl, Runes and Poem.
Read more of his poetry on Jerry Jazz Musician
Mary Lou Williams plays “It Ain’t Necessarily So”