Today's poem is by Elizabeth Spires


on the Paris metro

Hurtling through dark tunnels on a lightless day,
dressed against February in our blacks and browns and grays,

we are all here, the mother trying to calm her crying child,
and the clochard asleep on the seat clutching his wine bottle,

and the stout old woman with her baguette and frown,
we are all here, when the accordion player steps on the train,

unfolds his accordion, and begins to play, his song conjuring
piazzas and fountains in a sunstruck capital far south of here,

and I wonder, as the crying child stops crying for a moment,
and the clochard opens one eye, and the old woman pretends
not to listen,

why, out of so many, is there only one music-maker among us?
With a rush and a shudder, the train pulls into the next station,

the doors slide open, and the song comes to an end.
And the accordion player, with a slight bow,

holds out his cup of coins, waiting to see
if we have taken what he has to offer.

Copyright © 2010 Elizabeth Spires All rights reserved
from Potomac Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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