Jan/Feb 2006 Poetry

Well Past Midnight

by Patrick Frank

Well Past Midnight
(Non-Traditional Sequenced Haiku)

A big semi rushes past, blinding me

Calming my spirit, the dark trees at dusk

Cradling a wounded bird in my shirt

Dawn     Walking downtown     Homeless, but at peace

Eagle's silent flight, on a distant shore

Father long gone     He loved the sea like me

Finally, I used my one-way ticket back to the South

Flashing in winter light, unseen below, silent wings

Ghetto dog weakly rises when I pass

Greeting other homeless and travelers

Hard to face the truth, I really am sick

Head down, standing in line, a homeless man

Heart empty     No quarter to call my girl

Homeless, alone, but the snow falls gently

In a storage bin, sorting through my life

In Motel 6, a woman parts much too soon

In spite of debt, there must be an answer

In the shelter, Ken plays his Irish music for me

I walk miles down the highway, my bag stuffed with poems

Jailed kid alone     His grandfather dies

Last winter snow     An old man's shot, true in sunlight

Light slowly fades at dusk    Strumming guitar

Making a space in my single room, and in my heart

Man punished for admitting he needs help

Miles distant     Woman in my life     Let her be free

My body releasing last night, alone

My companion, a parolee, handcuffed

My old friend George Fair     Goat behind his shack

No word from my girl and no job today

On the street, faint fluttering of a bird

Parking on the street, I face the unknown

Planet closer to a sliver of moon

Poet and dishwasher cross the railroad tracks at dawn

Razor wire all over town     In prison and out

Romantic song lifts the spirit of a rootless man

Some part of me has the desire to disappear

Spring dawn     Bird's cry unceasing

Standing in the mist, beside the empty road, a train

Stroking a wounded bird with my finger

Student writing poems on napkins years ago

Walking with a stranger     Basketball at dusk

The landlord, evicting, averts his eyes

The night he OD'd, Ken wanted to tell me something

The planets shining brighter, closer, closer

The shapes of birds on a wire     Pure light

The wind dark and wet before dawn     Music

The time really locked in, really homeless

Time for poetry and time for straight talk

Unable to go home     Mountains of snow

Visiting Ken in jail    Through the glass, his face gray

Walking to a truck stop, I find scattered baseball cards

Walking, walking, walking alone, alone

We are transfixed by dark shapes    The transparent river

Well past midnight, I pull out of Springfield


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