Your town along the Clark Fork River
overflows with homeless tents,
cluttering the bucolic landscape
at a similar ratio to Los Angeles
or San Francisco: cardboard scraps,
ripped tarpaulins, discarded REI tents
resuscitated from dumpsters
and repurposed into homes.
I remember your extended
vagabond stint in 1980s Madison—
sleeping on heated parking ramps
in the depths of a Wisconsin winter,
disguising your tattered backpack
as a tree stump, then stashing it
in the woods behind the Memorial Union,
while students drank two-dollar pitchers of Point
and complained about their classes.
Now, you and your embittered wife
live in a spacious house downtown.
You probably complain about the mess
as you drive your minivans to Safeway,
but I wouldn’t know about it,
since you no longer speak to me.
I was good enough when you had nothing,
but comfort renders me useless.
I hope I creep into your dreams
with offers of food, sex, and clothing,
and you’re forced to remember
your days of poverty, but
I am sure your sleep is empty,
and you have forgotten everything.