The Lonely Poet

He sat behind the old, beat-up stencil piano, plunking away as he stared absentmindedly into the Saturday crowd. He should’ve been playing, but his mind was elsewhere. It drifted back to his desk, his real instrument.

He hadn’t written a poem in weeks…

“Hey, hey?”

He jerked from his reverie. “Yeah?”

“Play us something, will ya?” a stuffy bar-lounger growled. “You ain’t gettin’ paid to stare. What are ya, a poet or something?” He turned back to his drink.

The piano player shook his head. “Boy mister,” he muttered, “if only you knew…”

He began this little lick that he knew.

An older man shuffled up to the piano, sticking a five in his jar.

“Hey, d’ya sing?” the old man asked.

The piano player shrugged. “I can, f’ya want.”

The old man nodded thoughtfully. “A couple of my buddies and I were remenicing, and were hoping you could play us a song, pianoman.

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