"Hopeless Sack For A Shadow"

(December 3, 2019)

cold homeless man

tows shadow, a hopeless sack

empty ‘fore the sun*

*(Finally happened: it got cold. Sunrise at just 38 degrees Fahrenheit. I wore longer and heavier shorts and the heaviest cotton long-sleeve teeshirt under another thick tee.. Only my unpocketed hand protested. When I got downtown I looked across the parking lot and saw what I knew by shuffle – aimless and downcast eyes – was a homeless man wearing long jeans and what appeared to be a too-thin “sweatshirt.” He was towing a modest sized black plastic bag by a long neck, it seemed as the still just-risen sun foreshadowed. Then, I realized it was no towed bag of empty hopes but the man’s shadow itself, now and then projected up against the backdropped yellow tall “picket” fence hiding the dumpster from view along the alley. I use that dumpster occasionally when I must micturate and it still is too early for public convenience. Sanford, Florida, USA’s homeless are both too few and more regulated – both by self and authorities to become a visual, auditory, and refuse-producing blight: we already have all the litter a swiftly flowing car of thoughtless entitled “homed” people to justify blaming the unhoused entirely. For a time I was embarrassed at my misidentification of the sack and of course of the man who and what he towed until I sussed the shadow. I stopped to scrawl an haiku to fix the image. Whatever and however I have missed the mark, may that man – in all his iterations, find a big bag of hope as he trudges down that sun-filled alleyway in what passes for frigid early December.)