There, against the wall.
on the sidewalk
where fat guts reign,
a skinny guy
with a voice like a clapped out
circus barker
sings an old folk ditty
and strums an out-of-tune,
overworked guitar.

A cap sits at his feet
like a dog
wanting to be fed,
a few coins inside
that barely climb out of their shadow,
enough to buy coffee
but no more.

Nobody listens,
most don’t even look,
he could be a heap of turd
or a stack of week-old newspapers
for all the attention
being on a busy street brings him,
yet still he drags out early Dylan
from the back of his throat
or a tale of betrayal and death
in between coughs
as raw as Appalachia.

Nobody gives a damn
for him
or his music,
if he’s lucky they’ll toss him
a nickel or two
that they had no use for anyhow –
but it’s how he makes his living.

A passerby once screamed at him,
“Why don’t you get a real job!”
So he stayed right where he was
and did.