He haunts the two story grounds
where all the buses and some
of the private cars go to rest,
shuffling along and always on
the search for salvageable goods.
His coat is two sizes too large,
lightened by the dust of the earth
that is slowly decaying into
nothing but desert sands and
irritable grains with no promise.
Flattened cigarettes left behind by
impatient travelers are his
calling cards, puffing voraciously
as he transfers the flame from
one sad stick to the other.
Empty cigarette boxes and towels
protrude from his pockets in
his misplaced steps, his child-like
gaze transfixes on something
not one of us around him can see.
The buses leave, the taxis depart,
and he stands for a while watching
them go in opposite directions,
motionless save for the gentle
tugging of his chest from breathing.
The stop is all he knows and he
knows there is nothing permanent
about anything that comes through
so he kicks stones and watches
the road slowly being crushed under wheels.
Author’s Note: As my time dwindles here, I wonder about many things. I find individual people I see on the street more fascinating now, especially the older men. I see the younger men and think how bold, outspoken, and raucous they are, and wonder how their futures are going to play out. I wonder about the old men, too, and how their pasts lead them to where they are now. It makes me wonder about my own future and my own past, and how my present sets the tone for both. Restless mind this spring.
Also, it’s NaPoWriMo (National poetry writing month) here on WordPress! I will be trying to participate behind the scenes, and you can expect some of them to end up in future Thursday poetry updates. Cheers!