Three spheres of instrument—percussion, sax,
and trumpet: brass, reed, and skin—become
a discussion of brash banging fun.

The three surround a pail, collecting
donations for their beating counterpoint,
a concerto akin to some surreal

coo-coo clock. The day’s audience gathers:
waiting commuters, tourists, regulars,
a few hipsters. The bucket fills, singles

and fives mostly, some tens, one guy stirs
a twenty. Two skinny Santas dance
into view, a yuletide boogie. The music

shrieks, shocks, squeals, and squawks, yet there’s fluid
motion in the high-stepping legs, the feet
that slide, circling Union Square platform

in waves that weave seductive, as these three
dance and create a wake in a shape
that’d break the back of a snake.

© 2017, Bill Cushing

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