The Urchins

They knew their stuff and clutched the soft spots

of the ocean floor for that was their job, and they were blind.

But in the weirdest sense, they did see:  the solitary sea floor

and the larger fish-stealing food through murky fog-water, swimming faster,

pushing with mouths wide open.  The shark-like fish

swallowed hard, desultory, robot-like.

Far away from the seashore, the urchins saw much more:

a small teakwood sewing machine with ornate legs,

Dutch-made, lying on a Harlem Street

as November-slanted rain fast-warped the soft wood

and rusted the bobbins and motor.

The urchins closed their eyes.

It didn’t matter that Frank, a homeless man, was slinking

along again in a valley of tears, desolate and drunk.

Looking into a puddle by the sewer,

he saw his sad reflection, wiped his hand ad stuck it into his pocket.

The urchins felt his presence though they were invisible to him.

There, the locket rubbed against his thumb.

So he took it out, cried as he saw the face of an angel

looking back at him.  “It’ll be okay,” it seemed to whisper,

as he closed the clasp and let out sobs from the back

of his throat, in a man way, until he was able to choke them down.

He looked again at the puddle and saw a trapped pigeon stuck

in the sewer slots.  With a quick maneuver, he pulled its broken wing

out of the grate and it hobbled away.

And now the urchins could rest and bless Frank.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.