FIVE PEOPLE CAUGHT IN RAIN
A man who wobbles through town
in a bike filched from your childhood
a wooden crate affixed to the back fender
containing an old toothbrush, a plastic
fork and spoon, a pair of heavy gloves...
Stenciled across the back
of his army jacket,
a bright script: JESUS LOVES YOU!
wavers in the rain.
A woman in a purple jogging suit,
inked across her face like tears...
She left home twenty minutes ago
thinking she could run all the way back
to the house of her youth
and everything would be in place:
her favorite tree, the swing out back,
the face in a silver hand mirror
aslant on her bureau.
Two men bent in supplication
as they lug the day’s supply of beer
back to the Blue Water Motel
where they’ve been camping out for cheap
in the off-season...Taking
the unexpected, the unstoppable,
the lacerating as their due,
they bow their heads to the rain
and continue their blind walk home.
And you--yes, you!
the one who thought
it would be a good morning to walk
to the library, believing as you do
that words will save you
if only you can find the right ones...
But instead, you find yourself
out here in the rain
with a man who carries everything
he needs in a crate,
with the drunks who transport
their daily despair
in a sodden cardboard box,
with a woman who holds
the unforgettable secret of her youth
in the breast pocket
of a purple nylon jacket.