The Sideman
Stephen Koritta

Let his be a lesson
to the few of us still left who will listen.
His sentiment
matches that of his instrument.
Neither of them made mention
of their tension
until they’d been struck.
Is it of significance
that his strings are made of gut?
His pace is slow
and so he must move over,
make room for whomever might walk by
or occupy the space.
He’s been following the frivolity
and knows
where it will go next.
He fully expects to see the spike in speaking
exponentially increase.
As not to wreck the continuity,
he carefully carries his tune
through this place
of so few euphonies.