BACKSTRRET BUM WE MEET

By Jim Dewitt

standing, straining our collective ears

toward some rough-neighborhood understanding

thru his crackedpavement phrasing. . .

how he’d got bashed twice

by a trash truck

and still survived, told in that

hauntingly human-like language

which orchestrated our ears raptly toward

wanting to take on more----

as his going on about “home”

in that vast jerryshack city of cardboard

hovels sprawling beyond the railroad viaduct

and his pridefully being

called on often to perform

coat-hanger abortions long after midnight

challenges even more grisly than

trying to control the screams

of dope fiends . . .

we could see ourselves leaning

noticeably closer to catch every detail

of his drift, sensing how this

mere derelict might well be

the wordly-wisest one

of us all.

 

Copyright Homeless Grapevine Issue #18 , Cleveland, Ohio