Monday, September 18, 2017

Destined for Better Times

He drops his bike
next to the shopping cart
laden with cans and bottles
destined for better times. I stop
the car and call to him.
We’ve known each other for years.

I call him my friend
I’ve never

invited him home.

I get out of the car and call again. His hearing
is bad; he walks as if his legs
are asleep, his back a slant
to the left just like his
beliefs founded
in diving,


listening: he cannot read but
he listens. A lifetime of knowing
what is worthy and what is not.

He lives in my neighbourhood―behind
a wall or an underground parking lot
away from the rain which
is coming soon. He dreams
of a home, of buying a van, moving to the mountains and
getting sober, but winter is coming. The mountains
are no place
to dry out.

He lives inside
when opportunity
offers. He makes
a pleasant home. I
sit on his couch amidst
books, clothes,
CDs, hats, bags,
electronics, couches,
chairs,TVs, cigarettes and yes,
dirt. We talk politics. He
encourages my writing. But

he collects. He
collects too much.

He was evicted
last month.

I like to think I am a good person, left-
leaning, generous and
resourceful, like him. He
is my friend―yet
the lines are drawn. 

I never
invite him home.

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