Respect for the Game
—a poem by Richard J. Martin

The Police called Fillmore Slim
To identify the body of one Muriel Washington
A known prostitute
found dead in the bay

He was the only person
Who saved the newspaper clipping
December 12, 1974
with her mug shot above the scoop

He would take it out many years later
And tell her story
On Tenderloin street corners,
or penitentiary cells

That is why
When she was alive
She worked the streets
And gave him all her money

At age the of six
Fredric Chopin was a gentle, sensitive boy
his parents stopped bringing him to the symphony
because he often burst into tears at the sound of music

Richard J. Martin, Jr. is a graduate of City College of San Francisco and San Francisco State University. His stories, poems and journalism have appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers and literary publications. He currently works as a grant writer for nonprofit human service agencies and as a musician for a local talent company and divides his time between San Francisco and Lakeport, California.