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Ellis Paul

Trolley Car

It's a snowy night, the cops shut down the freeway
big men in plows are out carving up the streets
Below them, jammed on a subway,
I'm with two hundred over-dressed strangers
brushing snow off coats and shoulders
kicking snow off dress shoe feet
You live six miles down this trolley car's trail
up above the red line, where the street musicians wail
Where Baby, we used to chase down coffee
on the sidewalk take in tunes
We'd drink in the waning hours
till we polished off the moon
Who knew the moon would fail
above the trolley car trail

"Park Street, next station"
says a voice with an accent I've heard
and I see shoppers on the platform
where green and red lines diverge
I fight my way through the packages and the bows
to a pay phone, the operator knows
she says to me, "Your nervousness shows"
I say, "'Nervous' is too kind a word"

I think snowfall should be measured
By how much it takes a city by surprise
By how far back old timers go to remember
the last time a blizzard stung their eyes
Last time I rode a subway
you had summer in your eyes
you did

Your phone rings, but it only brings your voice
on a message machine, "I'm not here, the tape is clear"
me, I'm off the hook it seems
"I called," I say, "to say `hello'
to coax you out where the snowmen grow
but you're not home, and hey, I gotta go,
it was good to hear your voice."

Ellis Paul Music (SESAC) 1996