Dean, School of Sciences and Mathematics, Mississippi College

Lightly crossing 3rd street

stinking

gray tweed jacket
hangs loosely
over his slumping shoulders,
he stands on the corner of 3rd and Main
with no particular place to go.
November drizzle

taps out
its own meaningless rhythm
on a black plastic garbage bag
at his side
bulging
with empty cans.

his square face
scratched glass,
catches the orange
of the flashing “don’t walk” light
oftened by the moist fog
of his own breath.

there was a child
once,
whose face was round
as full moon
lolling low in sky
round as a dot
in a question mark.

he dwelled at the feet of gods
who could speak in thunderclaps
bring summer with a smile
fork lightening with a glower.
they sang, cursed,
whispered perfume,
blew fire from their mouths,
they caressed his cheek, tenderly
broke his jaw

never knowing which,
he learned to walk lightly

he too could whisper
to a bear with button eyes
to a monkey made of socks
he held them close.
his whispers though,
quivered with fear
his secrets hid
within the undulations
of his soft voice
at night
when gods do
whatever gods do
in darkness.

drizzle hardens to sleet
car horn screams
light turns green,
he clutches his bag of coke cans
and walks across 3rd street
lightly,
still watching for the gods
who have faded away
years ago.

-Stan A. Baldwin-

 

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