The Voice Issue 36: March 2018 - Page 32

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Piano man

He told about the news stories.

But it was in a different sort of way,

making unspeakable tragedies

a little easier to say.

Children dying in their schools.

People are fighting in the streets.

We hear about it every day

but never ask what's behind the scenes.

Schools were ravaged by bullets

as he played along and sang,

and his honey voice could be heard

from miles and miles away.

"One man's trash is another's treasure

One man's treasure is another's pain

One man's pain is another's pleasure

And so it goes on that way..."

He wore his treasures on his left wrist,

Bracelets tied with stones and string.

His right hand he used to create music,

unburdened by heavy stone rings.

He said his left hand was for decoration

- for protecting and for holding.

His right hand was for calluses

- for playing, for writing, for working.

And every night he told us stories

of his life before the war:

before gay marriage, before civil rights,

before all that's worth fighting for.

He sang songs from the chain gangs.

He sang jazz, he sang blues,

and for a moment we forgot

who we were listening to.

A man who knew everything,

who fell down and still flew.

A man who, in the face of adversity,

never strayed from the truth.

We called him the "Piano Man,"

a name that made him smile.

His aged and tired eyes would light up,

piercing their wire-rimmed borders.

His lips would curl at the corners

in a manner almost juvenile.

He told us that we were the future,

that the world'd be ours in a while.

He was a man with so much love

it burst through his fingertips,

spilled out onto the keyboard

with nothing to hide.

He played all kinds of music,

about how he couldn't see

the color of his eyes,

about years living in oppression,

About his life after his mother died

About life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The world, he said, is losing herself

She grows weak from hearing us cry

And before we reduce her even further

We must take a look at what's on the inside.

What's behind the scenes

Of these horrible things?

What is wrong? What does it mean?

He looks for the answers, sitting at his keyboard

The Piano Man, playing music for free.