Monday, December 15, 2008

The Bum & I


Well there he is
And I am here
Separated only by this window
A bum with no fear

The street hustles by
Perched on this stool
Grande latte in my cup
A coin or two in his
Hard to look up

He stands stoic, ragged
A long gray coat
Once worn by success
Subway grates stamped in it’s back
We both seem a mess

Hair like straw
Worn thin
Slit eyes peering through the ages
Sun leather skin

Kicks a little dance
For his day
Jester for court of financial fools
Bankers, lawyers
Ladies in jewels

I see them, but I don’t
This one captures me
Shanghaied me
Transfixed me
What does he see

My coffee is warm
Crowds herd by
North and south
Bow my head and sigh

Words begin to pile in my mind
What are his
Still his cup is silent
Another quick step, hop
Back curved to the street, he’s bent

My cup is empty too
Stare into untelling bottom
Lift my head to see the bum’s imploring cup
Downtown wind and dust got him

Shall I do as always
Look away
Afraid to see
It could be me

The shanghai bum
To him I flip a dollar coin
Thunk in his cup
Look him in his ascetic eyes thanks for the poem I nod
A little dance in his cup

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