Somebody Nobody Knows


Across from the Banana Republic
near an armored truck,
Duane Eddy’s “Rebel Rouser” blaring
from the corner Starbuck’s,
he sat on a Robson sidewalk,
awaiting The Second Coming
with his battered New Testament,
green porcupine exercise ball,
and a selection of
hotel body-wash bottles;
his La-la Land newspapers
weighted to the pavement
by a lint-roller and
leopard-spotted umbrella.

Head down,
he was passed by
an endless parade of
hand-held screens,
tattoos, suits,
low-cut blouses,
leashed dogs,
veiled faces,
and sunglassed-mothers
with frappes and Winners bags,
wheeling their babies by,
their eyes blind to him too.

He only came to
when I dropped a fiver
into his empty
black food tray,
smiled and said
“Ya know,
I was just dreaming
of my mother
taking me to school
for the first time
back in Thunder Bay.”

(“Only connect!” -E.M. Forster)

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