On an autumn Sunday, he sat to my leftoblivious to the crowd bathing
in pitchers of beer and mutilating
chicken wings. His cap and shirt, like ruins
of Acropolis, bought him jars of whispers
from mouths of prejudices. But determined
like a silk route merchant, he focused
on his destination: as his fingertips caressed the piano,
silence of appreciation seeped through holes
of egos. The crowd sat with chin
in their palms, feet met the floor with rhythm.
I watched my childhood friend’s silhouette spread
the magic of music with his only hand.
Sweta Srivastava Vikram (www.swetavikram.com) is an award-winning poet, writer, novelist, author, essayist, columnist, educator, and blogger. She is the author of three chapbooks of poetry (“Kaleidoscope: An Asian Journey of Colors,” “Because All is Not Lost,” and “Beyond the Scent of Sorrow”) two collaborative collections of poetry (“Not All Birds Sing” and “Whispering Woes of Ganges & Zambezi”), a novel (“Perfectly Untraditional”), a nonfiction book of prose and poems (“Mouth full”), and a full-length collection of poems (“No Ocean Here” upcoming in 2013). Her work has also appeared in several anthologies, literary journals, and online publications across six countries in three continents. Sweta has won two Pushcart Prize nominations, an International Poetry Award, Best of the Net Nomination, Nomination for Asian American Members’ Choice Awards 2011, and writing fellowships. She has been selected by the Queens Council on the Arts as a participant for the 2012 Build Your Own Business for Writers Program and was short listed for the Independent Literary Awards. Taj Mahal Review describes her as "A poet with hauntingly beautiful talent." Sweta has held several artist residencies in Europe and America and worked on collaborative projects with artists from Zimbabwe and Australia. A graduate of Columbia University, she reads her work, teaches creative writing workshops, and gives talks at universities and schools across the globe. Sweta lives in New York City with her husband. You can follow her on Twitter (@ssvik) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/Words.By.Sweta).