Back to Michael Foster's Artist PageTo the Artist's Page                   Back to the Unlikely Stories home pageTo our home page
UntiltedTo Michael Foster's previous piece     Easy StreetTo Michael Foster's next piece

Where Late the Sweet Bird Sang

Often, when traffic slowed
to morning stillness
he'd make up names
for the occasional customer
or graft the music
of his island tongue
onto labels of stale junkfood
on shelves sparsely stocked.

He was a poet then
too, wasn't he,
in the slow hours
of slower years
when he'd not written down
a single word, thinking only
of the money he needed
to bring his family here.

A kid from a hard street
gripped the gun too tightly
and couldn't hold it steady
parked on the bridge of his broad, friendly nose.
His eyes flanked the lethal bore.

He heard give it up
and he gave it up
shoveling worn dollars
across the stained counter no avail. He saw the fire
before he felt the fire
or heard the yellow bird
sing higher and higher
and higher up  in  the  ba

To the top of this pageTo the top of this page