A Bum and his Shopping Cart, Giving Up his Ways

by Jerry Ratch

A bum leaves his shopping cart

in the middle of the intersection

at 7th Ave and Perry St

and walks away

leaving everything behind


Shopping cart gets hit

by an onslaught of

yellow taxis whizzing by


The contents flying out

into the humid afternoon —

two cans of lost


one box of forgotten


three empty beer cans

from the early 60's,

a box of unused

typing paper


He is giving up his ways

Sworn off picking through


for partly eaten pizza


and the artichokes of the past

one hundred years


Tired of trying to reason with

the playful rats who are after

the same slice of pizza


And as one last gesture of good will

toward a laughing God

he just does not understand

he gives up swearing off

things altogether