The Man from Crescent City

 

He looked as old as the city,

almost as though the architect

had designed the French Quarter

after the way he moved

on his afternoon walks.

 

Even without his immaculate, hand-stitched

three-piece navy suit, he’d stand

out from the tourists who were bar-hopping

and the natives who were too busy

hustling from work to home to notice

the artist on Lafayette Street.

 

He notices her, and stops to admire

how the artist, in her tan beret, paints

in wistful strokes the magnolia tree

that stood outside her family home

before it burned to the ground.

 

Her pinky steadies her wrinkled

hand as she adds another black

branch to the tree, on which

she has yet to paint the flowers.

I wonder if she will.

 

The man’s lips stretch upwards

in a brief, unseen approval

before he follows the bebop

of the Mardi Gras trumpets

that jive and swing to the time

of the bass drums whose every strike

beats in time with the city’s vibrating soul.

 

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About Natalie Gasper 0 Articles
Natalie Gasper has a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida. She devotes her time to crafting poetry, writing her fantasy book series, and working on independent films. Her work has been previously featured in The Voice Student Newspaper, Breakwall Magazine, Cleveland Magazine, Eleanor: A Zine, and The Write Launch.

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