Dueling Strings

Two strings
Two hearts
Two pairs of

At the Bart station
Dueling for

A spot in the
Middle of heavy
Foot traffic, the

An older black
Man plays guitar,
Familiar hits from
Another ear
Another era

His guitar case
Lays, open mouthed
Like a crocodile with
A taxidermist’s sense
Of humor

Picking and strumming
His voice leaping the
Circumference of memory,
Beyond echoes, settling
Into the spot he occupies

A younger black man,
Early to mid 20’s sets
Up shop a few yards

He takes out his violin,
Sits the case on the ground,
Moves bow across strings as
The trains below ground
Travel both ways

And in the clashing of
Strings, the older black
Man puts his guitar down
And walks over to the
Younger black man

I’m trying to play
Here, my man, said
The older man

So am I, said the
Younger man. I’m
Trying to make some
Money too

There’s a way to
Do things, said
The older man

And the two spoke
Amongst themselves
For a moment as the
Holiday foot traffic
Muffled what was said

The older black man
Walked back to his
Guitar and resumed

15 minutes later
He was gone

Then the violin
Was heard, in the
Spot where the guitar
Had been

And the violin
Hit the spot just
Has the guitar had

No curses
No ill will welling
Up in the ears
Of those willing
To hear

Two strings
Two hearts
Two pairs of eyes

The sweetest


© 2016 Tony Robles


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