Violinist at a Train Station

February 26, 2013
His stage is lifeless, cold cement
and tile turned gray with filth
and the roar of the train replaces applause.
The dingy lights illuminate the empty
case at his feet.

The artist raises the instrument
to his chin,
its glossy mahogany finish gleaming dully.
The bow is gently placed on taut strings
and he begins to play.

Slowly at first, a warm, rich sound
rises over the clamor of the masses.
It transforms the dreary platform,
banishing gloom and darkness
like the sun breaking through clouds.

And yet the people take no notice.
Their eyes determinedly fixed ahead,
they walk with quick, hurried strides,
not sparing him a glance.
There are trains to catch, always more trains to catch.

But the violin plays on
as the people come and go.
And the hopeful case lies empty on the ground.
The only souls who hear
are the small children and
a lonely old man sweeping the floor
who lingers
in the corner.

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