The Redhead on the Bench

Poetry, I thought, is far removed

From this man I see every day,

Bearded redhead sitting on a bench

Staring into space, hunched over

Outside Gregg’s hurried munching

Of something given to him.


This man has it all (or nothing)

And he tells and retells the story of loss

Plainly, sincerely, unapologetically.

He does what he does and

Where and how does he sleep at night?

Is there a light nearby?


I’ve seen him share the bench with others,

Perhaps a fellow homeless friend

Smoking a cigarette angled away,

Their knees never touching and yet

Shoulders so relaxed

And free –


Yes the pains of living

Have soldered skin and sinew into blaring

Expressions of saintliness.

Such a man makes immortal

The battles in one’s mind

And a bloody reality that flashes by.

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