The hollowed eyes were ringed with lines,
The parchment skin was cracked and old,
The tattered rags that served for clothes,
Gave scant protection from the cold.
Yet on that corner every day,
Without regard for wind or rain,
He played his music loud and strong,
Despite the passing throng’s disdain.
I saw him there in autumn winds,
And when the snowflakes swirled around,
In springtime when the buds burst forth,
And when the summer greened the ground.
He had a song for every soul,
A tune to warm the coldest day.
Some gave him coins, others just passed.
He’d nod and smile and wave and play.
Then came the day he wasn’t there.
No music soothed the harried crowd.
Old age, they said, had claimed its due
And wrapped him in its peaceful shroud.
But on that corner even though
The old musician’s long been gone
To those who really want to hear
His music will play on . . . and on.