Friday, October 29, 2010

Poetry Friday: In The Path

In The Path

It is not, as it turns out,
a dead body.

Just a drunk.

Just a falling down, passed out, Friday morning drunk
who landed one pint of vodka short
of the park bench.
He lies on his side
in the chilly fall sunshine,
curved and curled
like a mammoth sleeping child.

Thick wrinkles blanket his face.


But his eyes --

--when they flutter open, ever so briefly, --

show a disarmingly

peaceful

ease.


My head shakes.
Should not those eyes

be mineshafts to darkness?

Gateways to hardship?  Windows to pain?

Has he not
a story?

He must.

He must.

He has a name, after all.
The paramedics know it, already,
when they come to cart him away.
Surely, he's not just a drunk.
I am flawed enough, and ever so old enough,
that I know this by now.

Do I not?

Do I not?



And yet I'm relieved


to the very soles of my sturdy walking shoes


when the path is cleared

and I can carry on
once again


as if no drunks

ever dare to pass out

in the bittersweet glory

of the midday sun.