A Street Musician’s Plea

Sure, I screwed up somewhere along the line.

But at least I held onto this guitar,

even if I can’t afford new strings.

And I know some old songs,

not from my childhood exactly,

but I’m hoping they’re from yours.


Yes please, recognize something

in the words,

evoke a time when you were

warm and dry and loved

and this tune was playing.

Surely such a pleasant memory

is worth a coin or two

dropped into my tin cup.


But I’m scarred, missing teeth,

ratty-haired and frightening

to young children.

So don’t look at me.

I can’t afford it.


John Grey

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in That, Dunes Review, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, Thin Air, Dalhousie Review and failbetter.


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