The Flautist Plays for Coins

Why a subway station?
Why a cold white corridor?
Is it the acoustics?

Or the constant flow of people?

You’re set up
on a makeshift stage,
music stand, flute,
and instrument case wide open
like a begging hand.

But you’re in a subway station.
The corridor is cold and white.
The acoustics are terrible.
And the crowd is in too much
of a hurry to notice
let alone bear.

Yet many coins
are tossed into your case,
gleam among your sheet music.

You make a living
in the wrong place
with the wrong people.

No wonder
so many of us
board our commuter trains
still whistling that tune.


John Grey
John Grey sends Why Vandalism? some poems