Sapphire

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o she’s a back-room boy
a thing of rags and lace
nothing much to look at
all legs and very little face

but
when it comes
to playing all the drums
she goes crazy
you would in her place

and every saturday night
she puts on her blue suede shoes
does her eyes just right
all over rhythm and blues

and her clothes
where she gets them nobody knows
but when they see them
all the girls go crazy
you would in their place

she’s wasted on this provincial scene
we sit and say
my friend and I
here in the corner of our favourite pub
watching the world go by
if somebody could deliver her
the goods we say
she’d fly

they bang the organ
beat the drums
someone fuses the microphone
just as the queen comes
on and she has to mime

in time
to nothing at all

my friend and I
agree
its a subject for a painting
and against the screen
of faces anticipating
something obscene
stands our african queen
like a lady in waiting
and her eyes understand what we mean

she ought to be
in diamonds and lace
in some other place
where the boys in the band

understand
something witty
and play something     mean
I look at my friend
and we apprehend
that the song
without words has gone on
too long

the dance ended
in confusion
someone offended
the landlord
who threw a tantrum
and broke
a bottle on the head
of his friend
just at the end

we saw her go out on her own
her platform shoes

winking like parking lights in the dark
she can’t lose those blues
said my friend what a laugh
she’s wasted in a town like this
in London she gets lots of trade
they have taste there my friend said

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