Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Sally the Busker

Our challenge as presented by Sarah at dVerse is to choose a poem we've read, and write a poem in response.  My poem is Poe's "Annabel Lee".  I've always been partial to story poems, and enjoy writing them from time to time.  "Sally, the Busker" is one such poem, scribbled in my bedside notebook after a "midnight epiphany" during the past week's hiatus."

Submitted also to Poets & Storyteller's United Wednesday Scribblings, where we were asked to revisit past challenges.  The challenge I have in mind is #8 "Early Birds and Night Owls} for obvious reasons.  The buskers poem is the result of what I call "midnight epiphany".

Sally was a busker on the L Street line

She sang for her supper, and nickels and dimes

She wore a faded shirt and  ragged jeans

Holes in her shoe soles, and pockets full of dreams

She could be somebody, her momma said

Just keep her eye on the prize and don’t lose her head

With her eye on a scholarship and her goal school of law

She determined with hard work she could just show them all

She worked two jobs and slept when she could

She won accolades like momma said she would

Now she has an office and she’s standing tall

A long list of clients, and her diploma on the wall

She’s gained the accoutrements that speak for success

But Sally determined to give back, I guess

She speaks to the children in the old neighborhood

Instilling in them that life can be good

“You can be somebody, just like my momma said

Keep your eye on the prize and don’t lose your head

Just look at me now, I look mighty fine

But I’m still Sally, the busker, from the L Street line”



  1. Oh you've really upped that ante from Poe's poem. I LOVE this post of yours....you've let us get to know Sally quite well with all the details you've provided. The pacing of the poem as I read it kept me going and interested and I love how you cam back to the first line at the end...as her own statement of affirmation. Well done!

  2. The rhythm to this is great - it could be set to music, especially with that ending. You tell a great story.

  3. I like this story. Nice

  4. I love the story of Sally. Still chopping wood and carrying water. Kids know the walk from the talk. She will influence many, Sally the Busker.

  5. This is an inspiring story of hard work and giving back to her community. Enjoyed this one Bev.

  6. I'm so pleased things worked out for Sally, Beverly - a heartwarming tale!

  7. ‘Annabel Lee’ reminds me of Holes, when the schoolteacher (Katherine Barlow who becomes Kissin’ Kate) recites the poem and Sam the onion man joins in. I love the story and the rhythm of your ballad, Bev. Sally shows that you can do anything if you put your mind to it.

  8. A beautiful message, wonderful rhyme!

  9. This was an excellent piece and an engaging read Bev — well written. Happy & Healthy New Year to you and yours. Here’s to writing wonderful poetry in 2021.

  10. I love the story and the rhyme, and the way your introduction/inspiration made me read the poem in the voice I've given Poe in my head. I also love the poetry found in poetry.

  11. Nice one, luv the story of achievement and giving back.
    Thanks for dropping by my blog today

    HAPPY 2021


  12. Such an inspirational story, Bev! 💝 I absolutely love it!

  13. Excellent, Beverly. Been there (read my poem a bit, three jobs) and it does pay off. Just don't forget where you came from. I slept on a sofa on the cold front porch from age six until I left home.
    Did you know that the buskers working the London tube have to pay rent for their spaces? Be generous when you go, most are good.

  14. PS Dear Bev, sorry but I can't see which Weekly Scribblings prompt you used. Could you please (as requested in our post) add a little note to tell us which one? Thanks.

    1. Oh, and actually a link to the specific Weekly Scribblings was requested too. You can access it from our post.

    2. I've updated my blurb, Rosemary, to show I chose #8.."Early Birds and Night Owls" since the wee small hours are frequently when my poems come to me. It was linked to Weekly Scribblings as well. I rarely "double up", but I wanted to share Sally with all!

    3. Ha! I thought you approached the found poetry prompt, #43, from a creative angle--using a poem to birth another poem. But now I can see #8.

  15. I love how my expectations were not met! I was afraid Sally would leave her career for her "true love" of music! Good for her for giving back and never forgetting where she came from. What made a difference was a supportive parent.

  16. Many thanks for the update. Though your poem can assuredly stand alone, I find it does add a little something to know which prompt you had in mind, and why.

  17. It's always good to remember where we came from, because when we forget, we become insufferably arrogant.

  18. This is one of those poems that surprise you by touching your heart! I was rooting for Sally and I'm glad that in the end she's happy.

  19. One of the things I miss is hearing the sounds of street musicians when walking in a city. Here's to dreams of a better tomorrow.