THE MAN ON THE SIDEWALK 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.
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