The Bum
by Christopher Bradley

At one time there was a bum on the corner of main and ontario.

he had deep old weary eyes
a watery sunken smile
and whiskers smelling of olde english
eight hundred that was.

a cracked face and clothes
smelling of vermin musk
reeked out at me on the pavement
as I wandered by his corner.

Did I mention that I was speaking of a bum?

I remember asking myself many times
does he understand his place here?
He must have for it was sacred ground
the ground that he owned.

We passed the fringe the mass of flesh
huddled in his coats yes he knew and he was aware.
We walked to the Burger King and bought some fries.
Would you like dessert with that?

Once again as I recall we were speaking of a bum.

The change fell from the worn hole in my pocket as we passed
on the way back. We thought he would scramble for it.
We walked on back to the car.
Get in drive away don't think drive get gas drive.

The next day the same corner was in our path
his corner the corner belonging to the worn frown
the hairy beast the friend of no-one.
He was gone. I saw twenty-two cents on the pavement.

I believe I've told you enough about the bum. Maybe not.