At The Side Of The Road

he waits with torso naked for the passersby to see &

touch if they dare

this man yoked, with a gnarled hump &

twisted frame

who comes day by day to offer himself

as the least of us

to remind the strong of the lost, the violent of the humble,

the proud of the weak &

though the air is brittle & the ground is wet,

he comes with cup in hand & alone

as are we all

who wait for our bus that will arrive soon &

with it the inescapable & most perfect fact

we are bound to a future we know not

& will only taste once.