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The Stairwell Crooner
(1948 / OVER 400 POEMS SERVED! !)

The Stairwell Crooner

He loved to sing. As a younger man
he'd tried the club circuit,
but that had been a no-go.
Perhaps he'd been too shy
to perform in front of crowds.

Now, he sang in stairwells: great acoustics!
Arias, pop songs, show tunes...Nobody
ever saw him. He was always
A flight below, or above, But his voice
throbbed through the entire
stair vestibule of a building—
stirring, thick, authentic.
Closing your eyes, you could easily
imagine yourself at Carnegie Hall.

After some years, during which he became
a kind of legend, he disappeared.
No one ever knew if he'd died, or moved,
or retired. But hundreds of souls downtown
had been touched by the Stairwell Crooner,
and never ducked into a vestibule
to walk a few flights
in leiu of a slow elevator,
without remembering him,
and hearing again
his liquid voice
in their minds.

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