Daylight fades, a city pulsates, and traffic is reflected in store windows.
Hurrying headlights come out of the darkness.
They crisscross like dueling knights. People in the crosswalk scamper
as if squirrels and streetlights leer gleaming yellow eyes, like watchful hawks.
The shrill trumpets of the charging gale force winds, rattle an awning,
and newly planted maple saplings bend and sway
in random pairs. Set in concrete planters, they hang on by tender rooted toes.
Pages of a discarded newspaper are hurled into the air,
buoyed on the steely breath of a frigid winter evening.
Several leaflets scatter into the street and down the sidewalk,
into the path of one lone pedestrian.
He slaps away the sports page, that flies into his chapped, red face.
Without hesitation, this castaway vagrant, down and out
by the rape of hard times, will accept an offered dime,
from a passing man in a Red Sox ball cap.
Head bent low, face hidden, a worn and dirty pea coat
pulled tightly around his thin frame, he carries all his meager belongings
in a large paper grocery bag, wrinkled and beginning to tear.
Serving as his satchel, the brown bag, damp and worn,
still displays big bold red and black letters
advertising "Smart and Final Grocery"--"Located in Three Convenient Locations".
A city bus roars by, splashing through three days of rain,
and a siren and a blaring horn is heard from the next block.
The dark silhouetted outcast, stops for a moment,
peers into a sidewalk trash receptacle, then continues slowly down the sidewalk.
A taxi pulls up along the curb behind him, and the attractive couple,
dressed in evening wear, emerge, pay for their taxi, and arm in arm,
enter Mario's Italian Restaurant, the brick bistro
that sits on the corner of Broadway and 1st.
It begins to rain again, and across the street people open umbrellas
and like the afore mentioned squirrels, they scurry home to supper.
The lone man walks in the rain, his pace doesn't quicken, his voice never spoken,
a spirit broken, ............ his sack held together by circumstance.
A passerby takes a brief glance...just a quick, chanced moment,
to take notice of "Smart and Final's" last stance.
Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2011