Songlines

there was a clip of Dusty
on the tele
the other night
in black and white
it was as though
she’s still here

that bouffant blonde hairpiece
which she wears so well
and crowns her suffering
her repertoire of gesture
which works a treat
no matter how familiar

the catch in her voice
which makes you believe her
when she sings:
I just don’t know
what to do with myself
as we all don’t know
from time to time

going to the movies
only makes me sad
everybody knows that feeling
and we are hit in our hearts
by her heart-broken appeal:
you don’t have to say you love me
just stay close at hand
you don’t have to stay forever
I will understand

anyone who has a heart
and was listening

responded to her
as she reached out to us
with her songs of lost love
they affect me still
more than any aria
from any opera
ever has or will

I believe my ears
I know her to be true
I will understand

always
too

.

   Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien
 who was Dusty Springfield from 1939 to 1999

.

Jeff Cloves

Illustration: Claire Palmer

.

 


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