Hang Fire

Waited for you by the gate
To heaven,
Under the aging sugar maple
Old and wrapped around herself,
With knots from years
Of growth and rebirth.

Waited for you.
Fire in the bowl
Fire in the heart
As the cold night crept in.
Souls can wait forever
But the body is only here
For so long.

The apple blossoms, the lilacs
Demonstrate that beautiful things
Can wilt and the petals drop
Like snow that turns brown
With death and blows away with
The slightest gust;
But if given time and patience
They bloom again with more
Beauty and fragrance than before.

And the bed under blossoms and stars,
The fire in the bowl
The fire in the heart
Still wait beyond the gate
For your return.

Every Little Bit Counts.

Today while I was driving I saw three men sitting by the side of the road, on the green near where the city meets the highway. They had set up an apartment of the shoe-box variety, a cardboard apartment. Signs asking for help and whatever helps, and anything helps; and a green plastic chair with the only occupant being an open can of cold Chef Boyardee, clear plastic fork protruding from the middle, and the black flies had taken notice.

A woman, I think it was a woman, strode over to the men and pulled out a pack of cigarettes from her backpack. Her baseball cap covered her face to her nose. They don’t care. It’s social hour. Morning coffee. They loudly exclaimed and took them, all lighting them in a procession. A procession towards lung cancer and further grief. A procession down the side of the road as the cars line up, waiting for a window to open and throw something out. Throwing a bone. Patronizing. Anything Helps. Any Little Bit Counts. You can feel good today.

You always hear stories about refused sandwiches and refused plates of take out meatloaf and I don’t believe them. You always hear stories about jeers and aggression, but I’ve never seen it. Sometimes a person wants to eat. Sometimes a person wants to eat more than once, and the sight of a meal, or even just a measly cigarette will make everyone else think: oh, he has enough.

Every little bit counts. Right now, someone is starving. A person like you is starving; and the black flies are doing just fine.