Reclining on the steps of the Old Church
Basking in obedient autumn sunlight—
He said His name was Leroi. Or Lawrence. No
Matter, I don’t think He signs his work.
Somehow most can ignore His radiance
And walk on past, heads down, unknowing. I stop
Because He glows like radioactive honey.
Through providence, or because I was chosen,
We fall to talking. And eventually
He shows me notebooks filled with poetry,
Line after line in perfect flowing hand.
He writes words to Charlie Parker pieces,
Also lots of stuff by Miles, and birdsong.
It reads like Hendrix (He looks a bit like Hendrix)
On a particularly divine day.
He asks for change through a burnished copper grin
(Thirty cents more and He can buy a beer)
But all I have is a subway token. He says
“Well I guess I can sell it” always smiling
He takes the coin but won’t shake hands
I understand I’m not quite worthy
I walk on, happy to be blessed
And a patron of the literary arts.
(first appeared in issue 2 of Conclave: A Journal of Character)