Fly Away

by Jonathan Hayes
On the corner playing blues,
plugged into the afternoon.

She thumb-plucks bass, and sings about Chicago.
His fingers strum dark rhythms on a beat-up guitar.

Taking their earnings to Tad's Steaks, drinking cheap red wine,
and burying their forks and hunger in sirloins.

One day he climbs onto the amp, awkward but feeling good.
A harp player's jamming with them today, swaying and wailing away.

The crowd gathers, their minds, ears and eyes full of the blues.

Up on the amp he dances a sluggish red wine shuffle.
He's forgotten what fills the busker's belly.

He's singing an orchard song: a six-foot, hundred-seventy-pound
heart, cooked well done, and not served until the apple is

Jonathan Hayes lives in San Francisco, California. He has taught poetry at 826 Valencia--a writing center for children--located in the Mission District of the City.

© 2007, Jonathan Hayes