Saturday, July 27, 2013

in concert

The woman next to me had laugh lines
etched around her eyes
to counterbalance her cracked fingers
planted in grass, befriending the earth.
Waiting alone among a city of colored souls,
she sat upon a plain plastic bag, a few possessions
in reused grocery sacks next to her—
a nomad with both feet sandaled,
resting before the band shell
being set like a lavish table laid for the poor.

In the field there were countless others—
the sweet wine drinkers by soft candlelight
the campers with portable tables and wicker picnic sets
the persistent toddlers twisting to play off-blanket
while mom fought a losing battle trying to keep them clean—

let them drool on plucked clumps of grass—
the eight-year-old next door
called them out to play
whistling and snapping,
rolling a red ball just out of reach—

and the strangers sharing food,
making friends with names
whose faces they may never see again—
while the sun set we feasted together on
potstickers, hummus, deviled eggs,
summer sausage, herring,
beer, bread and butter pickles,
Oreos, zucchini bread, pasta,
baklava, brie, wheat crackers,
thin ham, fruit drinks,
bread rolls, watermelon,
berries, nuts and dark chocolate.

The orchestra tuned as dusk
tucked us all in for the night
when our faces would glow
in front of a frame too joyful to stay straight.
The music curled like the fingers
of a sister holding the widow’s trembling hand

hushing troubled hearts to stillness.

As the song began,
the traveler beside me started humming along,
content as long grass swaying in a soft breeze

in concert
a poem by troy cady


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