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I met one day A man so kind With the things he’d say He’d blow my mind.

In the morning it all began When on a street I was walking past I saw seated a little man His face aghast, eyes crying fast.

To see him so it broke my heart And I asked why his face was long He looked up, said, “Harp-playing’s an art, But not if one of your hands his wrong.”

Then raise his right hand he did, His harp untouched on its stand. I then saw why – his fingers had slid Right off his right hand!

“When my fingers used to be, I could sit here and display The precious form of art in me All throughout the dreary day.

“Alas, my harp I cannot play, Or earn me any money, For, playing my harp throughout the day Would get me all my bread and tea.”

I asked him where his fingers had gone He said, “In the stomach of a shark. When I saved a drowning girl on an early morn, It took them, and swam off in the dark.”

So sad I felt for the little man Who was crying on the road, I thought, said, “Play your harp you can, Take my fingers, and sing me an ode.”

He smiled at me, his tears all gone, As I plucked five digits off my arm, Saying, “Here, put my fingers on, Keep them forever, it’ll do me no harm.”

-Farishta Anjirbag

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