A Change of Tune

Martin Elster

While Abbie ambles round the food emporium
a shower of shallow ditties from the ceiling
renders her skull an empty auditorium.
She reaches for a carton of Darjeeling
and slips it in her shoulder bag. Is stealing
from stores that spew such pabulum so wrong?
As Abbie nears the apples, an appealing
melody makes her stop. No shopworn song,

but Bach — far out! — played by E. Power Biggs.
She grabs some miso (joy of man’s desiring),
St. Matthew Passion fruit, preludes and figs,
a wedge of Brandenburg. (Perhaps they’re hiring!)
But now she has to leave, her bliss too brief:
Muzak again. And, yes, she’s still a thief.

Martin Elster serves as percussionist with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and is a composer. His poetry has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Flea, 14 by 14, Lucid Rhythms, Mindflights, Scarlet Literary Magazine, Soundzine, Verse Wisconsin, and Umbrella, and in the anthologies New Sun Rising and Poe Little Thing.


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