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Jun 2016
Underneath the swaying hickory tree,
He plays his Gibson guitar.

Though his song crumples in the sweltering
Southern breeze, he continues to strum
His guitar strings with a zealous passion,
Expelling each song lyric outward from the
Disconsolate depths of his mourning heart
In hopes that someone, somewhere will listen.

Within the confines of his cluttered garage,
He plays his Gibson guitar.

Though an irritated sister bangs violently
On the door, he continues to play unperturbed
As his three bumbling friends dance clumsily
To the crooked melody and his younger
Brother rolls on the grimy floor in uncontrollable
Laughter at the screech of a leaky note.

In the bustling, sullied streets of the city,
He plays his Gibson guitar.

Though passers by attempt to avoid eye contact,
Whipping out their sleek smartphones and burying
Their faces in their screens as they hurry past him,
He continues to penetrate their eardrums with his
Dissonant ballads, pausing only to collect pennies
Thrown in sympathy at his worn, weathered feet.

In the Marlboro stench of a crumbling nightclub,
He plays his Gibson guitar.

Though some customers, unsettled by the cheap alcohol flowing
Pugnaciously through their veins, heckle him relentlessly,
His guitar continues to erupt with an unapologetic
Persistence, rattling the stomachs of even the
Sober clients into a nauseous, drunken ailment.

And now, despite the aching calluses ingrained in his fingertips,
The bumps and bruises deriding his cherished instrument, and
The overbearing lights irradiating him from the high iron canopy,
He continues to pour each poignant lyric from within him, just as he
Has always done, Letting each of his fingers dance from
String to string, and every verse arouse into graceful takeoff.

As he reaches the final verse of his final song, he pauses abruptly,
And listens to melodious, emphatic voices
Reciting each lyric and bursting into jubilant applause.

In the limelight of a thousand adoring eyes,
He still plays that Gibson guitar!!!
Alan Brown
Written by
Alan Brown  M/California
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