Anything Helps

Anything Helps

He stood alone in the center island formed
by the intersection of Kolb and 22nd Street. 
Sleepy-eyed commuters glanced at his cardboard declarations:
Not Homeless.
Not Hungry At The Moment.
A Vet. Just Like You.
Sheets of white paper held in one hand flapped like 
seagull wings on the stirred currents of whizzing cars.
The light turned, autumn leaf red he supposed.
Cars slowed and rested.
Windows slid down.
Elbows protruded.
Voices sang out.
“Any of those old-fashioned rhymes today, Poet?”
“Hey, man. Make me giggle. Need one terrible like.”
“Loved yesterday’s. Read it to my kids at the dinner table.”
“Touch my heart. It’s hurtin' bad sore.”
“I got a feelin' you're gonna make me cry.”
He walked the line. Leaned down. Handed ‘em out.
Touched skin. Stretched his grin.
“Morning,” he said. “Feelin’ good today?”  
“Thinkin’ ‘bout yuh,” he said. "Blue skies day."
“Hope this helps,” he said. "Things are gonna get better."
The light changed color, golf course green he supposed.
Traffic edged away like a reluctant tide going out.
Some waved the words out the window in a 
see yuh later kinda way
and his ribs ached from the banging goin’ on inside. 
Photo by Blue Ox Studio on

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