Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday Night on the Metro

by M.P. Powers

When the train stops at Blanche, an old man sidles
aboard. He's wearing a dark motheaten fleececoat and
has an accordion slung over his shoulders.
He peers around, the brim of a battered fedora
shading his heavylidded French eyes. The eyes of an artist.
The door closes; we lurch forward and he begins
with an old Parisian song. His fingers frolicking
about the keys; fingernails broad and shining like tiny
clamshells. He sways about the hips, beats softly
time with his foot, and when he finishes his two
minutes of wondrous music, he draws a small leather cup
out of a case. He gives it to the lady beside him; she looks at it
with disdain and passes it on.
It goes to the front of the train and comes back
around, still empty... He returns it to
its case and sits down, resting the accordion on his knee.
He slumps over a little bit. Meanwhile, the train jostles along,
moving us all
through the night; the tired, the spiritless. All of us,
huddled together,
without music, barely alive.

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