The Roadsmith

By Elise Pallagi

Unpublished, 2016

There I was late at night at a park on Taylor Street

Never planned to come this way

It’s just how things are

As always it started with an evening walk

Down Broadway

Street jamming with friends

Busking for beer money


Singing the songs of Bowie

In front of the Yard and Flagon

Just a typical night during the Fringe

Till I noticed a small group of strangers

A young man on a bike,  a tall blonde gal

A short bespectacled lady

Long flowing skirt and black hooded sweater

They complimented my singing


I went back to the jam session

Till the hustle money in the guitar case

Hank and Ozzy leaving for the sweet taste of beer

Whilst I decided to head home

Not craving drink at the time


A block from home I noticed a blue avenger

Three people stood next to it

Chatting away and then beckoned me

Waving me over to the car


There I met her, The Roadsmith

Banjo in hand, keyboard in the trunk

She asked me if I wanted to jam

Naturally, I obliged her

The sounds of Tom Waits

Sea shanties of old

Our voices merged

To the sound of the banjo


We journeyed onward to the park on Taylor

Just the four of us 

A pair of eastern travellers

And two Saskatoonians

Whose paths never crossed

Jamming on in the moonlight


I conversed with the Roadsmith

Swapping stories, swatting mosquitoes

While playing banjo and keys

We parted ways

when the rain clouds came


Then we met again the next day

The rain hung on well past dawn

Keeping ourselves warm with freshly roasted coffee

Making art together one more time

Before the Roadsmith continued westward