Garland Strother


The sound came from blocks ahead of us,
a votive theme played in peace for a living,
the notes crafted with care cresting the noise

of bad brakes and out-of-tune horns.  
Mourning the past, the rhythm recalled
a hymn from someone else's childhood,

the unsung words echoing off stone
the Mayans carved for temples, tokens
now laid tight in a row of city sidewalks.

Looking at no one, he played for pesos,
bending his voice with the right hand,  
his eyes locked in privacy on the music,

a red tin can catching small coins in the air,
random counts of faith merging in brass
with his own—in thanks or praise or prayer.

Garland Strother is a retired public librarian currently living in River Ridge, LA, near New Orleans with his wife, Liz, also a librarian. His poems have appeared in South Dakota Review, Arkansas Review, Louisiana Review, Texas Review, Plainsongs, Big Muddy, Loch Raven Review, Christian Science Monitor, Orange Room Review, Sunstone, New Verse News and others.



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