Those were the nights of quiet stars,
of coffee brewing in the blue enamel pot
and you as always dressed in red,
The peanut vendor’s song.
All evening I listened
while your friends’ playful fingers
rattled and tapped taut skins,
maracas, bright beads in hollow gourds,
tumbled rain in a cactus stalk. I tried.
But your tricky rhythms
tripped me every time
scraping the guiro,
or awkwardly shaking something
as best I could yet always,
somehow out of sync.
Elly Farrelly lives in Glasgow. Her poems have been published in From Glasgow to Saturn, The Glasgow Review of Books and have been included in two anthologies. As well as writing poetry she is also a songwriter and performing musician. Website www.ellyfarrelly.co.uk