Alan Abrams


          The opium eater reclines with rigid head
          and just-open’d lips…

You all know how hard it is to find a good parking place
in a busy town. Well, we lucked out—or so it seemed—
while running an errand yesterday. I prepared to back in

when she said, no, not here. I too had noticed the man, 
lying on his side against the wall, so I pulled forward and 
said, why don’t you hop out here? Then I backed into

the space and got out. I pulled a buck from my wallet
and walked up the man, who looked up at me with
vacant eyes. He took the money with a sluggish hand,

and I caught up with my wife. He had his hand in his
pants, she said, explaining why she was annoyed 
at me. Was it the hand that took the bill, I wondered.

We took longer than I thought, and I was glad I’d put
an extra quarter in the meter. The man was still there
when we returned, the dollar bill clutched in his fist.

... And such as it is to be one of these, more or less am I… 

(Words in italics from “Song of Myself,” by Walt Whitman)

Alan Abrams is a retired motorcycle mechanic, carpenter, and bootleg architect. He typically writes in a narrative style, in simple language, as though he were telling a story to someone at a bar. His poetry has been published in numerous journals including Bourgeon, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, and The Innisfree Poetry Journal.


All rights © Alan Abrams