On the Bench (Matthew III)

by Mathew Paust

He's in the shade

under the station portico at Bay Transport,

the usual hanging head

as if asleep on the bench;

too late to sneak around behind.

He'll look up in an instant,

win the day;

but you're not easy, you slow your pace,

step with care, do your cat walk,

turn your face.

Something glimpsed stays with you:

the wisp coiling from his fingers;

you stop, stand awhile, he could be gone;

you stoop, ease away the smoldering butt,

replace it with the dollar.

-- m.d. paust