an accordion player.
The young feet hurrying back and forth
in rapid rhythm.
A few minutes before the hour
a crescendo. The crush of crowds
hurrying to class.
No coin, no glance.
With his strong left arm
the big instrument, black with mother of pearl, keys and buttons.
He pulls it open. He tilts back, body rocking on the chair.
A pleated fan curving, the angle always changing
as the tunes, well-known and loved
or strange, some from his own past, pour forth in an echoing stream.
The weight on his legs and the straps
over his shoulders
tire him at the end of the day.
He plays waltzes and tangos, show tunes and marches.
When some old man or woman loiters beside him
smiling as he nods, he wonders
what the coin will be.