Which way could you turn, m’dear

by Jude Kirchner
Griffin (Buffalo NY)
February 15, 1974

Which way could you turn, m'dear
with Joni Mitchell in town
and I couldn't get you
that front row - when the band
had the stage, and you
dig jazz, but not theirs...
then Joni there before us
(the moment all awaited)
and, like a relative that flew in
from the coast only to stare
coldly beyond your eyes,
and brings no jokes, no dirty stories,
she got tongue-tied;
and life seemed all at once
a confused stage-full
of frustration and failure,
and Joni's voice
like Jethro Tull sucking helium -
it was all so bizarre.

We just sat there coldly
waiting to all
be magic1carpeted away...
around us the people
clappe din hope, in desperation,
blaming our grounding
on some energy shortage

I thought I heard you
mutter an oath beneath your tongue
at them. Myself, I was
self-pitying - it must have
been my fault,
this debacle.

And then, just when disaster's
hoary breath was blowing
down our necks,
what does she do - a
simple solo set, and
you suddenly sit up. She
talks to you, you listen,
curiosity turns to rapture,
"Migod, maybe there's hope,"
and I sit up...pretty soon
we're holding hands
and, with the look that Lucy
must have given Charlie Brown
when he astonished his audience
with a victory at the mound
(after so much defeat)
you speak - "hey,
this show is getting good -
and you're not so bad yourself."

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