For every fiddle found in old pawn shops
There is a gypsy less, with music torn away.
I brushed at the smeary dust and tapped
The wood, to hear the hollowness. Atop
The counter I also saw a hoary dredel,
A metal top, a magic deck of cards, and, trapped
In amber, a fly at table on some ancient tree.
The owner sat like crumpled paper on his stool
And snored the day along, foot swinging slow,
In counterpoint to the Swiss pendulum behind.
The shop sold many objects but no tools,
Except the violin, an instrument I didn’t know.
The dust encased the place and to my mind
Held it still. I turned to go, the tuneful gypsy
Banished from my mind, shoulders aching to build
Before they tired from the weight of centuries
And went still, motionless like stone, killed
By whistling dirges in the sun.
Outside the wind was fresh, the road was long,
And there were naughty kids to capture,
Dancers to seduce with living songs.