Mr Antoine "Fats" Domino
Roland Godefroy / Wikimedia Commons

On the “Night Train” near the car,

Feel the bouncing tempo over the rails

And ties. The honking saxophone floats

Across the neon-lit expanse of mysterious darkness.

Soon there’s a new tune.

This time I’m walking to New Orleans.

I’m hoping that she saw me?

How exotic, dramatic met from the heart,

Down home style, is that?

Mr. Antoine “Fats” Domino,

born 1928 and died October 2017.

Survived Katrina, changing tastes

In pop, jazz and Rock ‘n’ Roll,

But always “eats was in the house.”

“Ain’t got time for talkin’, so I’ll just keep on walkin’.

The insistent triple piano chords,

Covered by just a hint of swept strings,

Then the last drop of a bass drum pedal,

Maybe Earl Palmore, who knows.

There were some comfortable when

Fats stayed away from the Harlem funeral

of his gifted guitarist, “Papoose” Nelson.

But Fats had to book his shows,


Tend to his eight children, and he had his reasons.

Fats was in general, a good, humbled cat —

No matter what bubbled beneath

His life’s surface; always he gave us the wide smile

Why did “Blueberry Hill” make such a

Hugh dent on our brain pan?

Fats insisted “Louis Armstrong was ‘my all-time favorite singer!’”

Nor will we forget —


In the spring of 1961, Fats

Exited from the tour bus,

And direct from New Orleans,

Played my brother’s spring

At St. Alban’s School for Boys.

Saun tells me the show was unforgettable!

And all for the then-sum of $600!

Fats, we still need you. But the Soul

Heaven, how “we got rhythm!”

(And Ette has its avatar in Mister Domino.)