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Entries in harmonica (1)

Thursday
Sep052019

Denver International Airport

mid-day is the least busy time 
frisked down by guys at security - 
they may have been from Ghana or Somalia or Ethiopia

but I suspect Congo or Zaire as their dialect was distinct
they are young and laughing at the never ending task 
waving detector wands over people

and the one waving me is young & angry & exasperated

at having to do anything so far removed from his

land, culture, family, his brothers and sisters carrying water

on their heads in cracked plastic pails from deep distant wells 
drying in the heat of perpetual summer’s drought

his tie is askew and his white shirt 
against his thin black neck 
is frayed and his blue blazer looks severely uncomfortable on his frame

and the Asian security woman

says the woman screening bags

doesn’t know 
what a harmonica is so I pull it out in the key of D

ask if she would like me to play her something 
she says yes so I play a few blues riffs on automatic pilot

she laughs as passengers flow around 
mothers manage baby carriages - three tired tiered birthday cakes with burning candles 
their long lonely joyful responsibilities

the music stops 
I bag the harmonica and take the escalator down

to the train watching Hispanic woman mop the floor as 
women in furs and designer jewelry wait impatiently 
for the train to Concourse ABC...

the train zooms through tunnels like amusement park rides

with silver spinning windmills in cement walls

whirling wind tunnels

people get off and on 
a White woman with her Black husband holds her child 
his black curly hair all ringed around small ears

husband looks bored and she is not sure

in her heart
if she made the right decision 
they are flying east to see her folks
he never smiles and they share no words