The Concert

The Concert 

1,700 people here 

to see the Abba tribute band 
and the same person 
who always ends up 
by a screaming baby 
in restaurants and on airplanes 
is seated beside Sue 

…gonna put me to the test 
take a chance on me….
Sue who is one of 6 women 
“seated” in the 2 x 3 section
across rows F and G 
in seat F9
…..there was something 
in the air that night 
the stars were bright,
Sue who can’t seem 
to stay seated 
or facing the stage 
who turns sideways 
back to me 
and reclines 

….the history book on the shelf 
is always repeating itself 
Sue who drunkenly 
introduces herself 
and her friends
says this is their last hurrah 
because all of her group 
is retiring, selling their homes 
moving away 
this is it

……this is where the story ends 
this is goodbye 
knowing me,
knowing you….
Sue who leans in 
to tell me 
that SOS is her favorite 
ABBA song ever 
and confesses that
she has “been throwing 
effing m&m’s at people” 
take it now or leave it
now is all we get
nothing promised, no regrets…..
she throws one at me 
and at my boyfriend 
mine bounces off 
hits the ground 
his lands in his pocket 
we stare at her 
and all the while I’m thinking 
it’s a good thing for her 
that we are fairly balanced people 
who’d risk a lot 
of reputation clout 
fighting a drunk 
in Row F of a concert
over two plain m&m’s 
so we let it go 

…..but I suddenly lose control 
there’s a fire within my soul…. 
Sue who tells me again 
that SOS 
is her favorite song 
and asks,
“so you’ll get up 
and dance with me?”
I tell her no, that 
“Thank You for the Music” 
is my favorite 
and I’ll wait, but thanks 
and wonder why  
she wants anyone to dance 
nothing’s stopped her yet 
from going it alone 
….facing 20,000 of your friends 
how can anyone be so lonely 
super trouper 
lights are gonna find me….

Sue who’ll never know 
I had the other 50% partial 
4 weeks ago 
that not only do I not 
care to dance 
but I was forced into 
hot flash hell 
and keep 
holding my glasses 
away from my face 
every few minutes 
to unfog my radiant heat 
…..Chiquitita, you and I know 
you’ll be dancing once again 
and the pain will end
sing a new song Chiquitita…..
Sue who leans over me 
and asks my boyfriend 
why men don’t want to 
come to Abba concerts 

…..a man like that is hard to find 
but I can’t get him off my mind….
Sue who leaves her seat 
to pee at least three times 
during the concert 
who apologizes 
because her daughter 
has just been through a divorce 
-a nasty horrible divorce –
…..nothing else can save me 
when you’re gone 
how can I 
even try 
to go on….
Sue who joins in 
with her other five 
parting friends
at intermission 
to scream-sing 
(but somehow all manage
to omit the first N sound 
in their rendition)
who midway 
through Fuckytown
leans over 
and tells me that 
“it’s the only reality we have”
….gotta move on
won’t you take me to 
Sue who looks 
like a normal 60 year old woman 
with short wavy hair and glasses 
wearing cream-colored jeans 
and a three-quarter sleeve knit shirt 
and sandals but 
who will awaken Sunday morning 
with one hell of a wine hangover 
….take it easy 
better slow down girl 
that’s no way to go 
does your mother know…..
Sue who didn’t notice that 
we crept away from the sixth row 
heading toward the exit 
to get ahead of the masses, 
this husband of mine and I 

…..the winner takes it all 
the loser’s standing small
beside the victory
that’s her destiny….

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