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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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