Running for the subway shuttle
from Grand Central to Broadway,
I heard music drifting through
an open door. I swung into the car
and there he was. Long-haired, bearded
standing in the aisle
with his mismatched socks on display,
singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow
in a voice so open and sunlit
that I forgot I was underground.
Even the wheels squealing
as the train rocked along the tracks
could not pull me out of the song
spinning through the crowded car
like a spider’s web, holding us fast
for the ride that was suddenly too short.
A hat on the floor in front of him
held some silver and some paper
and I added my thanks. As I left
the train and headed for the exit,
I could still hear him singing
to the empty car, words that poured
out into the station and were reflected
by white-tile walls, spattering
the passengers with red, violet and green.
paul Bluestein is an obstetrician (done practicing) and blues guitar player (still practicing) who began writing poetry in 2018 after joining The Poet’s Salon in Fairfield, Connecticut.. His work has appeared in The Linden Avenue Literary Review, Third Wednesday, and Penumbra among other publications. His first full-length collection, Time Passages, was published in 2020 by Silver Bow Publishing.