image from sfgate.com
“Angels are like diamonds. You can’t make one--you
have to find them.”--Anonymous.
His prosthetic lower leg stood by,
its chrome bones bright in the morning light,
as he perched like a failed potentate prince
on a soiled red cushion, its fat tassels tangled
and dirty, there on the cold sidewalk, up
against the stucco wall of Dan’s Deli. He had
a cute mutt with him, who sprawled out
on his own blue pillow,
wearing one of those
cursory cute red bandanas; but this guy was different. He
was young & blond, with piercing
Steve McQueen blue eyes that matched
his rumbled blue down jacket, that had a white
peace sign patch sewn over his heart. His donation
cup was ceramic & attractive. His golden hair was unkempt
but seemed clean. He had one of those Scandinavian thin blond
mustaches, & had shaved in the last few days;
hatless but far from worthless
He was probably in his 30’s, He looked you right in the eyes
but he seemed younger, as you exited the Deli clutching
living on the streets, several your cold-cut hero or sweet apple
green plastic yard bags holding fritter, but his gaze was swathed
his worldly possessions. in calm kindness, without even a
hint of desperation, anger, or pitifulness.
He never spoke, yet his silence lacked
sadness, brimming with respectful and
polite vibes. His cup runneth over with
money, which he never looked at.
He was probably a recent veteran, one of
those handsome strapping young men that
that a gang of rotund Republicans had
sent to the Middle East to drive over
a lethal IED in an unarmored Humvee,
or maybe an addicted street urchin
who got high and fell under
a bus, or fell asleep or passed
out on some railroad tracks, or
had crashed a stolen motorcycle.
He held a rudimentary hand-drawn
sign that read:
In need of a treat
Dog bless you--
with a paw print replacing
the O in Dog. He caught my
eye after I read it. We both
smiled at the same time.
I gave him five bucks.
It has always tickled me that God spelled backward is Dog.
This strange young man’s cleverness & demeanor touched
me deeply. I returned there after work, but he was gone. I
never saw him again. Somehow his absence, after experiencing
his presence, plagued me, haunted my dreams, invaded my
random thoughts. I had an inexplicable need to talk to him, to
hear his voice, to find out his story--but it seems that he will
always remain just an intriguing mystery.
Angels are among
us. I saw one begging
today by the Deli.
Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub "Poetics"