paul Bluestein: “Subway Benediction”

Subway Benediction

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. 

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