so often now

so often now

when I am out among my species

out in the world alone

I recognize every face I see

though we’ve never met

 

all faces are friends or family

former husbands, former lovers

children of colleagues, children of friends

young, open faces from decades

of August classrooms

 

a street musician’s trumpet

arcs over the boulevard

and down to wrap around and

permeate the whole of our divinity

the shapes of our humanity

 

including the monk who

speaks no English but offers me

a token of peace in exchange

for money I do not have

we smile as I keep the peace but

hand the token back

 

refrains of Edelweiss lift the late afternoon

gold and saffron trimmed in crimson

sunset or monk’s robes?

ending or beginning?

 

a homeless man shuffles across the plaza

to drop a dollar in the trumpet player’s

instrument case

 

hard begged and well spent

common drums beat in all our chests

rhythmic tattoo of hopes and needs

 

 

 

copyright Megan E. Freeman

originally published in Stoneboat Literary Journal

 

 

 

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Megan E. Freeman 2020