by Reva Zerkalo
He wades through litter, glinting gold -
in silted garbage rivers dance
discarded wrappers, tales untold.
Blind streetlights flicker, shadows prance
upon this spectral nighttime stage
where schemes and screams are left to chance.
His backpacked memories creak with age,
they stumble with him, on and on -
nomadic home of houseless sage
whose crippled spine is woebegone
with burdens of surviving life...
his antique face gleams white and wan
its wrinkles slashed with rusty knife.
A doppler wail of racing cars
arrests his trudge, announces strife.
He cranks his head towards the stars
beshrouded in fluorescent smog,
pellucid eyes that harbour scars -
discerning diamonds through the fog.
Deserted sidewalk whispers woe,
old man alone resumes his slog
to nowhere... where is there to go?
A nameless grave his only place,
no mourners but a cawing crow.
His footsteps strike without a trace,
nonentity in howling space.
All rights reserved.
Inspired by a ex General in Moscow who became homeless - as many did - shortly after the fall of Communism. He became a close friend and we always had the samovar on the go.
Published in Ambit