For Lack of a Hero
Pigeons scattered as the gentleman with the tailored suit walked up to where the woman sat on a flattened Coke box, plucking a banjo. A nickel or dime would drop into a cap crumpled on the sidewalk occasionally.
“You’re six cents out of tune, my dear,” the gentleman said.
“And sixty cents short of a sandwich,” she replied without stopping.
He glanced around, sniffed, and left.
When he returned, he set the sleek case down and opened it, smiling self-consciously. She shifted for him to join her, cross-legged on the cardboard stage. The banjo led and the violin played along.