January 11, 2015 smallstone “City Surprise”


broken piano keys

The prompt: Choose a city you know well and write a poem about something you can’t imagine happening there.

In New Orleans, they outlawed the music.
At first, in the streets and public squares,
Later, in the bars and supper clubs in the Vieux Carré and Uptown,
Next – who could believe it? – in the schools and even the churches.
Finally at home.
Bonfires of contraband headphones, CDs, iPods,
Confiscated instruments lying broken in the street
Only a few hidden away and almost forgotten.

And yet – no one could outlaw the songs of the birds,
the beat of the spoken word,
the poetry and rhythms of city life.
Life blood flowing, music that cannot be silenced.


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